Left-hander Julio Urias was holding his breath as the Dodgers fended off a late Brewers rally for Urias' first Major League win, a 6-5 triumph on Tuesday at Miller Park. Urias set career highs for innings (six), pitches (100) and walks (six) while striking out six and limiting the damage to two runs on two hits to become the first teenager to win a game in the Majors since Felix Hernandez in 2005.
"He made pitches when he needed to," said manager Dave Roberts, who added that Urias will probably make another start, despite a looming innings limit. "He needs to be more efficient, the walks he needs to get better at. Threw really good [changeups] tonight, and the guys are really excited for him"
Urias made more history at the plate with an RBI single in the Dodgers' three-run fourth-inning, making him the first teenage pitcher to get a hit since Dwight Gooden in 1984. It came against Brewers starter Chase Anderson, who allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits in four-plus innings in his first start in 10 days. Anderson didn't strike out a batter for the first time in 63 career starts.
Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy each delivered two-run doubles for the Brewers, who made Urias sweat by scoring three runs in a thriller of an eighth inning highlighted by Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson's sensational catch. Pederson left the game with a bruised A/C joint in his right shoulder after crashing into the wall on Chris Carter's sacrifice fly, and watched as the Dodgers preserved their one-run lead.
"I thought Pederson made a heck of a play," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "He doesn't catch that ball, we have nobody out, a man on third base [representing the tying run] and we're looking pretty good. … That was the play that changed the game, really."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Crazy eighth: Pederson's catch was the first of two critical defensive plays for the Dodgers in the eighth. With Pederson down on the ground, Lucroy scored all the way from second base on Carter's sacrifice fly to cut the Dodgers' lead to 6-5, and the Brewers kept the rally alive by working a pair of walks from Joe Blanton. When Blanton fired a wild pitch with two outs, Milwaukee's Hernan Perez -- who was attempting to steal third on the pitch -- tried to score the tying run but was cut down at the plate by Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal and Blanton, who applied a tag to Perez's foot just in time. Brewers manager Craig Counsell challenged the call just in case, and it was confirmed.
"I thought I had a chance to make it," Perez said. "It was close. … Grandal, he made a nice throw, and [Blanton] put the glove right there. Most of the time, the throw is somewhere [off-target], but he put it right on the chest."
"I don't think I've ever done that, but we practice it every Spring Training," said Blanton. "Yas made a great throw, especially with the batter pretty much in the way. Yas said he could hardly see me when he made the throw, an unbelievable throw."
Slump busters: Slumping Adrian Gonzalez and Trayce Thompson scored the game's first two runs in the second inning. Gonzalez returned to the lineup after a two-day "reset" because of lack of production. Thompson was in an 0-for-19 drought. Both singled, and Gonzalez scored after Thompson's steal of second base drew an errant throw from catcher Lucroy. Thompson scored on Grandal's ground out. Gonzalez had three hits and reached base five times.
"I changed some things mechanically," said Gonzalez. "I felt the last two days pinch-hitting, I hit the ball hard, so I knew that the adjustments I made were going to work, and they did. The more I worked on the things, the more confident I got that it worked. Right now, I knew if he threw the pitch I was looking for I'd put a good swing on the ball."
On the board: The Brewers didn't have a run or a hit against Urias until the third inning, when Braun jumped a first-pitch changeup and lined a two-run double to left-center field. It scored Keon Broxton and Aaron Hill, who had drawn the Brewers' third and fourth walks off Urias in the first three innings.
QUOTABLE "When I was 19, I was in junior college. I can't even fathom being in the Major Leagues. You tip your cap to him; he got his first Major League win. Obviously, you don't want that to happen, but you have to tip your cap when a young kid does well." -- Anderson, on Urias
UPON FURTHER REVIEW Jonathan Villar's leadoff walk prompted a series of throw-overs from Urias in the first inning. On his third try, Urias appeared to get his pickoff, but the Brewers challenged and the call was overturned. Villar didn't last long at first base; before Urias threw another pitch, he fired another pickoff throw and retired Villar with no challenge.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers: Brock Stewart, who opened the season in Class A, makes his Major League debut as the starting pitcher in the 5:10 p.m. PT start on Wednesday. He follows Ross Stripling,Mike Bolsinger and Nick Tepesch in the fifth-starter spot.
Brewers: The Brewers are 8-2 when Junior Guerra starts a game, and will look to continue that good fortune when the series continues Wednesday night. The poorest of Guerra's 10 starts came at Dodger Stadium on June 16, when Guerra was charged with five runs in 5 1/3 innings, but the Brewers rallied late for an 8-6 win.