The Los Angeles Dodgers concluded their series against the Colorado Rockies with a loss, which coupled with a San Francisco Giants victory, dropped Los Angeles to four games back of first place in the National League West.
After dropping the rubber match to the Rockies, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Julio Urias, not Mike Bolsinger, will start Sunday’s series finale against the Giants at AT&T Park. The 5:35 p.m. PT start is being nationally televised on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
Roberts attributed the change to the Giants’ lineup boasting several left-handed batters. It should be noted San Francisco is batting .274/.338/.413 against lefties this season, and .244/.324/.385 off right-handers.
Roberts previously stated this week the club did not intend to use Thursday’s off-day to alter their rotation into the weekend series. At the time of committing to Urias for another start, Roberts said it would come Monday night in the opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
The rookie manager expressed confidence in his 19-year-old lefty being able to handle the expected hostile environment at AT&T Park. “I know and believe, that if he pitches well, does what he can do and executes, which he has done better in each start, he can get anybody out,” Roberts said Wednesday.
“It’s going to be a great environment, great atmosphere and we expect he’ll rise to the occasion.” When discussing tough settings at Citi Field and Wrigley Field that Urias faced in his first two career Major League starts, Roberts called them “great tests.”
Roberts also expressed no concern over the subpar losses having a damaging effect on Urias’ confidence and psyche. Urias is slated to start opposite veteran right-hander Jake Peavy. Clayton Kershaw and Johnny Cueto are the probables for Friday night, and Scott Kazmir and Jeff Samardzija are slated to start Saturday’s game.
Urias allowed one run on three hits and had seven strikeouts over four innings in his Dodger Stadium debut Tuesday night. He called the experience a dream come true and felt he took another step forward in his progression.