스포츠토토Julio Urias (Los Angeles Dodgers) rebounded from an injury-plagued start to free agency.
Urias started the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season home opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, and pitched six innings of three-hit ball, striking out eight and walking two. It was his first quality start (six or more innings and three or fewer earned runs) in 54 days since May 14 against the San Diego Padres. Behind Urias, the Dodgers’ offense scored five runs in a 5-2 victory. The Dodgers took a 3-1 lead in the four-game series against Pittsburgh, while Urias improved to 6-5 on the season. With the win, the Dodgers, who are 49-38 on the season, cut their lead in the National League Central to half a game after the Arizona Diamondbacks (50-38) lost their fourth straight to the New York Mets on the same day.
The Dodgers took the early lead. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, the Dodgers’ signature table-setters, hit a double and a two-run homer to score two runs. Pittsburgh answered right back. In the top of the second inning, the Pirates had runners on first and second with one out when Conor Jo singled to left and Zack Swinski doubled. Nick Gonzalez followed with a two-run double to center field to tie the game.
It was a moment that would have been devastating if it had happened on May 19 against the St. Louis Cardinals (six runs in three innings) or on May 2 against the Kansas City Royals (five runs in three innings) in his first game back from injury, but not this time. Urias didn’t allow a run after the third inning. From the third through the fifth innings, he retired the side in order and struck out four. In the sixth, he gave up a leadoff single to Keebrian Hayes, but retired the next three batters to end the inning.With Urias on the mound, the offense came alive. The Dodgers struck again in the bottom of the sixth when Freeman led off with a double. Max Muncy followed with a home run over the right-center field fence to extend the lead to two runs, and a Betts double and Freeman RBI single in the bottom of the seventh sealed the deal.
The win puts Urias back on the map ahead of free agency. The former top prospect went 20-3 with a 2.96 ERA in 2021 and 17-7 with a 2.16 ERA in 2022. He’ll be a free agent after this season, and he’s young (born in 1996), so he’s a “bargain bin,” but he’s been struggling and had a 4.94 ERA on the season before this game. It was the kind of performance that would have maximized his value on the eve of free agency.
The first inning stemmed the tide. It’s the second half that remains. Urias had a 1.79 ERA in the second half of his career, which was better than his first half (3.72). If he continues to perform as well as he has in his career, both the Dodgers and Urias could have a happy ending.