Dodgers News: Julio Urías Focused On ‘Just Attacking’ Against Pirates

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Mired in some inconsistency and subpar performance throughout much of this season, Julio Urías dazzled on Thursday night to help lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In just his second start since being activated off the 15-injured list, Urías notched eight strikeouts over six frames while generating nine whiffs. The outing was a complete reversal from Urías’ last turn in the rotation, when he struggled to make it through three innings against the Kansas City Royals.

“Coming off a start like the last one, to put all my focus into this one felt really good,” Urías said through an interpreter.

Thursday’s win over the Pirates was his first win since May 13, ending a long and uncharacteristic stretch without consistent positive results from the eight-year veteran.

“Yeah, it’s very frustrating. No one ever wants to go on the injured list,” Urías said. “Everybody wants to be out here competing, do their thing, be able to put their foot in the stand and help the team win. Obviously, the team came out and the bats got going, and we were able to get that win.”

Requiring only 88 pitches to get through six innings, Urías avoided long at-bats, a noticeable change from his prior outing that was plagued by weak contact that extended innings.

“I was just attacking,” Urías explained. “I took a little bit out of my start in Rancho, especially getting first-pitch strike and pitches right to finish off hitters. I was able to do that.”

The Dodgers offense posted four runs of support, which provided Urías with enough of a cushion to pitch from a point of comfort.

“We have an incredible lineup,” Urías said. “I know how good they are, and to keep the game even and give them an opportunity to come out and win the game was very important for me.”

Freddie Freeman struck the initial blow against the Pirates, launching a two-run home run in the first inning. Now in his second year with the team, he’s been around Urías enough to see him at his best.

“Julio, every five days you feel very confident we’re going to have a chance to win that game,” Freeman said following Thursday’s win. “He looked like Julio tonight. It’s good to have him back. In Kansas City, he got the rust out, and today he looked like Julio. Pretty good day for everyone on the Dodgers.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts credited Urías for his ability to shake off rough patches and stick to his game plan. Following a misplay by David Peralta early on in Thursday’s matchup which led to the eventual game-tying runs, the left-hander continued pitching with the same tenacity, proving he was able to put those behind him.

“He’s as good as we have, along with Kersh, as far as not letting things that he can’t control affect him. I think for me, I give him a mulligan in the sense that you’re on a short pitch count, which he was in Kansas City, so I think he was counting pitches and innings,” Roberts said.

“And when there’s some soft contact and bad luck happening, I think it sped up on him in the sense that you only have so many bullets for that day. So today, there was a longer leash, and he weathered it, managed it and kept going, which was great.”

How important is Julio Urías to Dodgers rotation?

With a number of pitchers on the IL for the Dodgers, Urías finding his rhythm is one of the more key pieces to their plan as the season progresses. Clayton Kershaw is dealing with a left shoulder issue, Dustin May is out for the remainder of the season, and the peripheral pieces are either underperforming or reliant on rookie production.

Urías has been a rock in the rotation for years, and in a contract year he has to find a solid runway to get him back on the dominant track.

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