Dodgers Vs. Marlins Game Preview: Julio Urias Takes Mound Looking To Avoid Sweep
Julio Urias
Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers conclude an eight-game road trip with the last of four games against the Miami Marlins on Thursday. With the Dodgers flying home to begin a brief homestand that starts on Friday, Thursday’s game is slated bright and early at 9:10 a.m. PT.

The Dodgers have lost the first three games of this series to the Marlins, dropping Wednesday night’s game on a heartbreaking three-run walk-off home run from Jesus Aguilar.

Julio Urias toes the rubber for the Dodgers Thursday in his 18th start of the season. In a season that has seen Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Trevor Bauer and now Clayton Kershaw all miss time, Urias’ consistent presence in the rotation has proven invaluable this season.

Urias leads all Dodgers pitchers with 10 wins this season, a career-high for the left-hander. Though he’s shown vulnerabilities at certain points in the season, he’s managed to maintain his strong record and his ERA currently sits at 3.81.

The 24-year-old has performed well in each of his last two outings. In his most recent start against the Washington Nationals on July 2, he allowed just one earned run through six innings of work. In his previous start against the Chicago Cubs, he struck out a season-high 12 batters.

Given the current state of the pitching staff, Dave Roberts says that Urias understands the need to pitch deep into this game.

“He’s very self-aware,” Roberts said before the game. “Our players are not only the most talented but they’re the smartest in my opinion and obviously with what’s going on, this is what top-end starters do. They embrace this and he knows he’s expected to go deep into this game.”

Sandy Alcantara faces off against the Dodgers’ lineup for the second time this season. In his first appearance against Los Angeles on May 14, the righty was shellacked for eight earned runs over just 1.1 innings.

Alcantara’s poor outing against the Dodgers is not reflective of his performance this season, though. Through 18 starts, he has consistently gone deep into games for the Marlins and has logged a 2.96 ERA.

As far as the Dodgers’ lineup goes, notably absent is the team’s hottest hitter in Justin Turner, who hit a three-run home run on Wednesday night.

Roberts revealed that it’s just a day off for the third baseman though. “I just think I play Justin as much as anybody if not more than anyone and I think that being smart with how I use him, when I use him for the season, I think it makes sense. So he’ll be ready off the bench and he’ll play all three at home.”

The Dodgers have played very streaky baseball to the halfway point in 2021, often following flashes of brilliance with stretches of mediocrity. The All-Star break is coming at a very opportune time for the Dodgers, as it will provide much-needed rest for a team that has struggled to stay healthy all season long.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Max Muncy
LF: Matt Beaty
CF: Cody Bellinger
C: Will Smith
2B: Chris Taylor
SS: Gavin Lux
3B: Zach McKinstry
P: Julio Urias

Marlins lineup

2B: Jazz Chisholm Jr.
CF: Starling Marte
RF: Garrett Cooper
1B: Jesús Aguilar
SS: Miguel Rojas
LF: Jesús Sánchez
C: Sandy Leon
3B: Jon Berti
P: Sandy Alcantara

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