The Los Angeles Dodgers will make another push Sunday to help left-hander Julio Urias to the first 20-win season of his career.
Urias (18-3, 3.10 ERA) will face the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Dodgers' final road game of the season. A victory against Arizona, combined with another one next weekend against the Milwaukee Brewers, would give the Dodgers their first 20-game winner since Clayton Kershaw in 2014.
Urias had a chance to win his 19th game on Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies, but he gave up four runs on seven hits over six innings in a no-decision. It was the most runs that Urias has surrendered since July 16. That game was in the thin air in Denver as well.
Urias has enjoyed his outings against Arizona. In eight appearances (five starts) against the Diamondbacks, he is 6-1 with a 1.77 ERA -- including 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in 16 career innings at Phoenix.
A round number the Dodgers (99-56) can achieve Sunday is their 100th victory. It would be their third 100-win season since 2017.
Los Angeles failed to reach triple digits in wins on Saturday in a lethargic 7-2 defeat to the Diamondbacks. Kershaw gave up four runs in just 4 1/3 innings during his third start since returning from the injured list because of elbow inflammation.
The Dodgers also lost ground to the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants, who hold a two-game edge with seven to play. Los Angeles is the eight-time defending division champion.
While the Dodgers' offense struggled to gain traction Saturday, the team welcomed Chris Taylor back to the lineup. It was Taylor's first start since Sept. 19 as he recovered from neck soreness.
The Dodgers also welcomed back outfielder AJ Pollock during week from a hamstring issue.
"They both are valuable to our ballclub being in there starting or off the bench," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who complimented two highlight defensive plays Taylor made as a late-inning substitute Friday. "Most importantly, we have to keep them both healthy. Getting AJ out of games (and) managing (Taylor's) starts will be beneficial."
After right-hander Zac Gallen held down the Dodgers on Saturday, Diamondbacks' right-hander Humberto Mejia (0-2, 7.20) will get the chance to do the same Sunday in just his seventh career game and fourth this season.
Mejia, who came to Arizona in the 2020 trade that sent Starling Marte to the Miami Marlins, has yet to face the Dodgers. In fact, he will be making his first appearance against an NL West club.
Long out of the playoff chase, the Diamondbacks (50-105) are using games against the Dodgers as a way to challenge themselves.
"We have a chance to impact how the postseason kind of lays out," said Diamondbacks outfielder Kole Calhoun, who had a pinch-hit RBI single Saturday and a home run against Los Angeles on Friday. "And so we want to go out and play some good baseball against these guys and see what we can do to play a little bit of spoiler."
Arizona hasn't been able to do much against Los Angeles, outside of Saturday's victory. The Dodgers still lead the season series 15-3 and are 6-2 in Phoenix.
--Field Level Media