After spending three days up with the Los Angeles Dodgers, though never appearing in game, Zach Lee took the hill for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday. The start was Lee’s first in 10 days, and the right-hander was knocked around early.
He issued a leadoff walk in the first inning, then promptly allowed a two-run home. After giving up a single, Lee’s errant pickoff throw allowed the runner to move into scoring position. He later scored to give Triple-A Omaha (Kansas City Royals affiliate) a 3-0 lead.
Matters only got worse for Lee from there, as he allowed two more runs in the third inning and five in the fourth. He surrendered a career-high 10 runs (nine runs) in just 3.1 innings pitched.
After 1.2 scoreless innings from Jacob Rhame, Julio Urias entered to pitch the final three frames. The talented lefty allowed just three hits, walked one batter and collected a trio of strikeouts.
The relief appearance was Urias’ first this season. In four games pitched, he’s tossed 18 innings, sports a 2.50 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and is averaging 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings. On the season, opponents are hitting .206/.239/.338 off Urias.
Lee suffered the loss, his first of the season in four starts. He’s now 3-1 with an inflated 5.23 ERA and 1.65 WHIP. Prior to the rough outing, Lee had a 1.56 ERA over 17.1 innings across his previous three starts, though opponents were batting .328/.333/.373 with three doubles and one home run.
Urias is largely expected to join the Dodgers for his Major League debut, presumably in September when active rosters expand. That could be expedited, however, should injured starters not return and/or the Dodgers sustain more injuries in their rotation.
The Dodgers have remained cautious in their handling of Urias, as he’s yet to throw more than five innings in a start this season. Last year, including multiple rehab assignments, Urias tossed 80.1 innings over 18 starts. He missed over one month after electing to undergo cosmetic eye surgery.