On day honoring Sandy Koufax, Julio Urías excels in Dodgers win

It was to be expected that Sandy Koufax’s presence would encourage a pitcher duel. Instead, it sparked an overdue offensive burst from the Dodgers in a 7-1 win over the Cleveland Guardians on Saturday.

Check that out. Imagine a pitcher sufficiently motivated by the fact that the man who threw four no-hitters and won three Cy Young and two World Series Most Value Player awards in the 1960s, was sitting next to the Dodgers’ dugout.

Julio Urías ended a three-game personal losing streak by giving up an unearned run and two hits in six innings. It’s proof of why a pitcher’s win-loss record can be a poor indicator of effectiveness. Last season, Urías was 20-3 with a 2.96 ERA. This season his ERA is 2.56 but his record is 4-6.

Before the Dodgers batted Saturday in the first inning, the video board showed clips of Koufax’s statue, which was unveiled earlier in the day, with Clayton Kershaw praising his mentor and an unexpectedly effusive Koufax, family, fans and former teammates sincerely thanked.

The video ended and the PA announcer recognized Koufax. The crowd thundered with applause as he stood and waved, turned to the cheering crowd, raised his arms high above his head, smiled and waved some more.

Koufax savored the moment, then the 50,078 fans savored a lopsided Dodgers victory.

The Dodgers pinned two runners in the first before going to work, scoring three runs in the second and two in the third. Trea Turner’s ninth home run was key to the first rally, and run-scoring extra base hits from Justin Turner and Gavin Lux were key to the second.

Eight Dodgers had a hit in their first two at-bats against Guardians starter Cal Quantrill, and ninth, Austin Barnes, drove a sacrificial fly in the first heat. The attack against the bullpen continued, with the Dodgers betting on runs in the sixth and seventh innings.

Sandy Koufax and his wife Jane Purucker Clarke pose with the statue of Koufax during an unveiling ceremony June 18, 2022.

Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax and his wife Jane Purucker Clarke pose with a statue of Koufax during an unveiling ceremony Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

(Kirby Lee via Associated Press)

The Guardians were without their best player, Jose Ramirez, who was sidelined with a sore wrist. The Dodgers went without Mookie Betts for the second straight day. Betts injured a rib when he collided with Cody Bellinger on Wednesday but X-rays were negative and Roberts said Betts could play on Sunday.

Red (head) alert

His signature red mop fluttered from under his cap and Dustin May threw down the mound of Dodger Stadium after the Koufax statue unveiling and before the game.

May, who underwent Tommy John surgery nearly 13 months ago, will play against racquets in three or four live batting practices before a minor league rehab trip.

If all goes well, he should return in August. May 24 had a great start to last season before the injury. He posted a 2.74 ERA while batting 35 and giving up just 16 hits in 23 2/3 innings over five starts.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-06-18/sandy-koufax-honored-julio-urias-ends-personal-skid-dodgers-beat-guardians On day honoring Sandy Koufax, Julio Urías excels in Dodgers win

Emma Bowman

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