KANSAS CITY, MO – Julio Urias’ much-anticipated return to the mound was marred by a poor game and the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Kansas City Royals by a score of 6-4 on Saturday night, July 2, 2023. After an 85-minute rain delay, Urias was immediately in trouble. He gave five runs in the first innings.
The Royals’ attack took advantage of Urías’ problems, taking an early lead with a combination of blowout singles, hit batters, sacrifice flies and delayed walks. The Dodgers were unable to mount a comeback during the game, failing to overcome the Royals’ early lead.
“I need to improve my pitching,” Urias said through a translator. “Even though I felt good, I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. I need to improve my pitch.”
After the game, Urias responded briefly, his obvious anger evident. In response to a question about what he could have done better, he curtly said, “Just deliver results.” Take all three of them out.
Urías’ time on the sick list ended with five runs in the first inning, which was not a good thing. Before the injury, his last start came on May 18 at St. Louis, where he gave up six runs on four home runs.
With the loss against the Royals, Urias now has a 5–5 record and an ERA of 4.94, more than double his marks when he led the league last year.
“That I pitched bad,” Urias said, summarising his feelings following that rough first inning.
Early in the game, Urías had trouble getting batters out, but it was interesting that four of the six hits he hit had an exit speed of less than 72 mph.
A double, two bloop singles, and a pop-up got the Royals on base to start the game, which second baseman Miguel Vargas missed. In addition, a 12-pitch walk to Nick Prato, a former Huntington Beach High student, seemed to tire Urias in his first game after a six-week break.
“I believe so. “I think the hit after hit after hit probably did it,” Dodgers catcher Will Smith said. “After that, he has a long at-bat.” I went to the mound to let him refocus and collect his breath. After that, another dink hit. That’s terrible. It’s a part of the game. That doesn’t happen very often, but it happened tonight.”
Urias struck out the following batter, which grounded into shallow center field. Vargas caught it but stalled, allowing Bobby Witt Jr. to beat his throw home after being tagged out at third.
On the opposite end of the speed range, catcher Salvador Pérez scored on a sacrifice fly that actually passed Smith’s tag and reached the outfield and trapped his left arm long enough to dodge Smith’s tag.
Smith criticised on Urias’ performance, saying he didn’t seem smart. “I didn’t think he was crisp,” Smith pointed out. “He was attempting to execute his pitches, but some were higher than usual, resulting in less soft contact.” On those pitches, he would normally induce ground balls or generate swings and misses. By no means was it a bad outing, but there was room for growth. Given that it was his first start in a few months, he did what Julio does best: he competed.”
In his 66-pitch outing, Urias struck out twice and had five swings and misses.
“Some of those plays, as a pitcher, there’s really not a whole lot you can do,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “But I think some of those balls are up if you’re going to poke holes.” When the ball is somewhat lifted, there is a chance for some flares.”
If the first inning was too much for Urias, the Royals had had enough.
The Dodgers scored three runs in the second inning on a single by left-hander Daniel Lynch. Johnny De Luca’s one-out walk was followed by a single by James Outman, an RBI double by Yoni Hernandez, a sacrifice fly by Mookie Betts, and an RBI double by Freddy Freeman.
Bates’ sacrifice fly broke a streak of eight-plate appearances in which he reached base—bookended by sacrifice flies.
Urias was relieved by a quartet of relievers, who pitched three innings and allowed only one unearned run (one of them, on an error by Ryan Brasier).
The Dodgers scored again in the eighth inning on three straight singles, one by Royals first baseman Pratto, another by him misplayed (he glanced home, paused, then flipped too late to the pitcher covering first base).
They loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but Royals reliever Scott Barlow (a potential trade piece for the Royals at the deadline) got Freeman to ground out and then retired the side in order.In the loss, the Dodgers left ten runners on base.
“I did. When asked if he thought the stage was set for a comeback in the eighth, Roberts answered, “I did.” “You always feel good when Freddie comes up to bat with guys in scoring position.”