Spring Training Recap: Julio Urias Struggles With Command; Dodgers Tie Reds

The Los Angeles Dodgers overcame an early deficit and took a late lead thanks to Tim Federowicz, but ultimately settled for a 4-4 tie with the Cincinnati Reds. It marked a second consecutive tie for the Dodgers as they have yet to lose any of their four Cactus League games.

Julio Urias adjusted his pregame routine last season and began to have better success in the first inning of starts, but those troubles re-surfaced Wednesday night. Urias had shaky command as the Reds put two on with two outs.

Unable to put batters away, Urias then gave up a ground-rule RBI double to Alex Blandino. The Dodgers took advantage of the temporary rule to roll innings over, and the first came to an end after Urias threw 27 pitches but only recorded two outs.

That wound up being it for the night as Corey Knebel took over in the second inning. Knebel flashed a dominant curveball but couldn’t keep the Reds off his fastball. A double and pair of singles resulted in the Reds extending their lead to 2-0.

Gavin Lux and Chris Taylor were a step slow with turning a double play on Dee Strange-Gordon to end the inning, which ultimately made no difference as it was rolled over.

The Dodgers then erased their deficit when Matt Beaty’s one-out walk in the bottom of the second was followed by singles from Gavin Lux and Zach McKinstry, the second of which scored a run. Luke Raley’s sacrifice fly pulled L.A. even — albeit benefitting from Scott Heineman inexplicably throwing to second base after making the catch in shallow left field.

Bobby Miller, last year’s first-round draft pick, made his unofficial professional debut. He battled some command issues — presumably due to nerves — but faced the minimum by inducing a double play after hitting a batter.

The Reds loaded the bases against Scott Alexander, only to hit into an inning-ending double play. L.A. capitalized on their chance to break the tie in the bottom of the sixth as Federowicz lined a two-run base hit into center field.

That didn’t hold, however, as Deivy Grullon hit a game-tying homer in the top of the seventh. Michael Busch flied out to strand the winning run at third base in the bottom half of the inning.

Dodgers change plans with Gray

After initially announcing Josiah Gray as the probable for Thursday’s matchup with the Chicago Cubs, the Dodgers have since named Jimmy Nelson the starter. Gray will still appear in the game, likely as the first pitcher out of the bullpen.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts previously named Nelson as one of the candidates being considered for the final spot in the Opening Day rotation.

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