Dodgers ‘Monitoring’ Julio Urias, But Don’t See Fatigue

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The Los Angeles Dodgers couldn’t extend their winning streak to four games as they fell 6-2 to the San Diego Padres in Monday’s series opener at Petco Park.

Julio Urias struggled out of the gate, giving up four runs before retiring a batter in the first inning. Jake Cronenworth began the scoring with an RBI double, and he eventually came around to score on Manny Machado’s three-run homer.

“I just think they came out aggressive, they ran some deep counts, a couple guys ambushed,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the Padres’ big inning. “It started with that first at-bat against Pham — good at-bat, double. And then they just kind of went from there.

“Obviously the homer to Machado and double to Cronenworth, (Fernando) Tatis had a good at-bat. I just thought early on they came out and took some good at-bats, put a crooked number up early.

“The way Yu (Darvish) was throwing tonight, hits were going to be hard to come by, let alone runs. They just kept us at bay.”

After needing 36 pitches to get out of the first, Urias settled down by putting up zeroes in each of the next three innings. He ran into some more trouble in the fifth, however, when Cronenworth hit a two-run homer with nobody out.

The blast chased Urias, who logged a season-low four-plus innings while tying a season high with six runs and walking four batters. The left-hander has now pitched to a 6.31 ERA in his last five starts.

“No, I really can’t,” Roberts answered when asked if there’s a reason why Urias has struggled over the past month. “Certain starts, I think it’s been the fastball command. I don’t think that was the case [Monday]. I don’t think there’s one particular thing that’s led to that inflated ERA.”

Monday’s start against the Padres was Urias 15th of the season, which is tied for the most in all of baseball. He already has set a career-high with 88 innings pitched this season but Roberts does not believe the increased workload is to blame for Urias’ recent woes.

“I don’t see fatigue,” Roberts said. “I think the stuff has held. Certainly, the results recently haven’t mirrored the stuff, in my opinion. We’re monitoring it each outing.

“I think the breaking ball and changeup at times have been very good, and the fastball has been very good. And he’s held velocity, so there’s been nothing that’s kind of spoke to a shut down, skipping of a start or anything like that.”

Urias credits Padres lineup

When reflecting on his start after the game, Urias gave props to the Padres lineup for attacking early. “I’ve got to give credit to them,” Urias said. “They made good adjustments and did a really good job up there. Obviously, I didn’t feel very good with my stuff.”

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