Urias matures on mound in Dodgers' 3-2 win over Cubs
LOS ANGELES (AP) The maturation of Julio Urias is coming along quickly for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 20-year-old rookie from Mexico allowed one run over six innings, Corey Seager set a Dodgers franchise record for a shortstop with his 23rd home run and Los Angeles defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Saturday to even the series between NL division leaders.
Urias (5-2) pitched better at home than the last time he faced the Cubs. The left-hander made his second career start in Chicago on June 2 and gave up six runs - five earned - and eight hits in five innings while serving up three homers.
This time, he allowed six hits and tied a career high with eight strikeouts and two walks. He is 4-0 in six games (four starts) since the All-Star break.
''He kept getting stronger and executing better,'' Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. ''There's a quiet confidence. He's being more aggressive. Early on, he was trying to understand the major league strike zone. He can trust his stuff and be more aggressive in the strike zone.''
The defense backed Urias with two double plays.
''It gives me a lot of confidence,'' he said through a translator. ''A couple starts ago I started picking up my confidence. In the beginning I felt strange. Now I feel like I belong here and that's the biggest difference.''
Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his 38th save a day after allowing a run on a wild pitch in the ninth in a 6-4, 10-inning loss.
''I didn't have a lot of hours of sleep last night, letting my teammates down,'' Jansen said. ''I got to figure out how to be aggressive all the time out there.''
The Cubs' four-game winning streak ended behind the shortest outing of the season from Jason Hammel (13-7). He gave up three runs and five hits in 2 1/3 innings.
''Jason wasn't happy when I took him out. He didn't want to go, but I didn't see things straightening out,'' Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ''I'm not concerned about him and it's not a lack of confidence in him.''
Hammel was coming off a poor performance against Colorado, allowing a season-high 10 runs (six earned) in 3 1/3 innings of an 11-4 loss. He remained winless in nine career games (six starts) at Dodger Stadium.
''Joe and I talked after the game about it but it's not a topic for discussion in the newspapers,'' Hammel said. ''There's nothing wrong with me mechanically. I'm fine.''
The Cubs' rally in the seventh came up short. They got to 3-2 on pinch-hitter Jason Heyward's RBI single off reliever Pedro Baez.
Heyward got caught stealing, and Baez walked Dexter Fowler and Kris Bryant before getting Anthony Rizzo on an inning-ending grounder.
Los Angeles took a 3-1 lead in the third on RBI singles by Chase Utley and Justin Turner. Utley's hit was the third straight given up by Hammel to start the inning.
Seager tied the game at 1 in the first, giving him the most homers by a Dodgers shortstop in franchise single-season history. He broke the old mark of 22 set by Glenn Wright in 1930.
Cubs: RHP John Lackey (right shoulder strain) will throw a bullpen session on Monday in Chicago.
Dodgers: OF Scott Van Slyke won't play again this season. He's on the DL with right wrist irritation after being out nearly two months earlier in the season with low back irritation. ''He doesn't have the range of motion he needs to contribute,'' manager Dave Roberts said. ... LHP Clayton Kershaw (mild disc irritation) will face hitters in a simulated game on Tuesday in Los Angeles, Rancho Cucamonga or Arizona.
ALMOST HOME ADVANTAGE
Chicago fans are making the Cubs feel almost like home at Dodger Stadium. They chanted ''MVP, MVP'' after Kris Bryant's game-winning home run in the 10th inning Friday. They cheered when Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully rattled off statistics about the Cubs' impressive August performance during a preview of Saturday's game shown on the videoboard. The team has seen similar partisan crowds around the country this season.
''They've been so loud that if we turned our backs to the crowd,'' Maddon said, ''we couldn't tell if it was a home game or an away game.''
Cubs fans in Chicago will get a brief chance to hear Scully wax poetic on Sunday. Comcast SportsNet Chicago will carry the live audio of Scully's broadcast during the third inning of the series finale. The 88-year-old Hall of Fame announcer is retiring at season's end after 67 years in the booth for the Dodgers.
''The people in Chicago are in for a treat,'' Maddon said. ''After we get done with our games, I watch the Dodgers and listen to Vin on my iPad. He's one of the great ones, like Red Barber, Dick Enberg and Ernie Harwell. He's transcended the memories of baseball.''
AT THE TURNSTILES
The announced attendance of 49,522 pushed the Dodgers over the 3 million mark for the fifth consecutive year and made them the first team in the majors to top that number this season.
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (14-4, 2.81 ERA) is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in two career starts at Dodger Stadium. The team is 7-0 in his last seven starts.
Dodgers: RHP Brock Stewart (0-2, 11.25) makes his third career major league start after being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday. He last pitched on Aug. 19 against Albuquerque, allowing four hits in five scoreless innings.