Preview: Julio Urias Makes 2nd Career Start, Dodgers Aim For Series Split With Cubs
Preview: Julio Urias Makes 2nd Career Start, Dodgers Aim For Series Split With Cubs
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs conclude their four-game series at Wrigley Field with an afternoon affair on Thursday. It also marks the end of the Dodgers’ seven-game road trip, with a victory needed to finish 4-3 over that span.

Los Angeles has held Chicago to only two runs and four hits over the past two games, but have split those contests. The series to this point has featured each pitching staff ending a game on quite the streak.

On Monday, Cubs pitchers combined to retire the final 25 batters. Dodgers pitchers retired the final 19 batters on Tuesday, and Jon Lester retired the last 15 batters en route to throwing a complete game Wednesday night.

The Dodgers enter play on Thursday 8-4 in day games and 12-5 in the final game of a series this season.

They hand the ball to 19-year-old wunderkind Julio Urias for his second career Major League start. Kenta Maeda was originally slated to face the Cubs, but he’s being given an extra day of rest due to swelling in his throwing hand.

Urias allowed three runs on five hits, walked four and had three strikeouts over 2.2 innings pitched against the New York Mets at Citi Field. He’s working on the same six innings/90 pitches limit that was in place for his debut.

One notable change for Urias is he will be wearing No. 7, as opposed to the No. 78 he donned last week. The jersey change was made possible with the Dodgers designating Alex Guerrero for assignment on Tuesday.

With the injury to Alex Wood, Urias is embracing the challenge of proving he’s capable of remaining part of the rotation moving forward. The Dodgers face Newport Beach, Calif. native Kyle Hendricks, who is coming off a complete-game victory.

Overall this season, Hendricks is 3-4 with 2.93 ERA, 2.78 FIP and 0.97 WHIP in nine starts. He’s allowed one run or less in four of the outings. Hendricks has fared particularly well at home in 2016, going 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA and 28 strikeouts to four walks over 32.2 innings pitched across five starts.

The young right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA and 0.83 WHIP over two career starts against the Dodgers, facing them in 2014 and 2015. The loss came at Wrigley Field last season, when Hendricks allowed four runs on four hits, including a pair of home runs, in five innings pitched.

Adrian Gonzalez (solo) and Justin Turner (three-run) hit the home runs off Hendricks. Turner is again batting third in the lineup, while Gonzalez returns in his usual cleanup spot after a night off.

Yasiel Puig misses a third consecutive game due to a sore left hamstring, though he is available to pinch hit as he did Wednesday night. Puig’s absence has Trayce Thompson in right field and Carl Crawford starting in left.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
CF: Joc Pederson
RF: Trayce Thompson
LF: Carl Crawford
C: A.J. Ellis
P: Julio Urias

Cubs lineup:

CF: Dexter Fowler
RF: Jayson Heyward
3B: Kris Bryant
1B: Anthony Rizzo
LF: Jorge Soler
SS: Addison Russell
2B: Javier Baez
C: Miguel Montero
P: Kyle Hendricks