Julio Urias, Dodgers take series opener against Giants – Daily News

LOS ANGELES — Buckle up. The ride is starting again.

Ancient hostilities – heightened by last summer’s high-speed division chase and last fall’s playoff skirmish – resumed Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium as the Dodgers and reigning NL West division champion San Francisco Giants met for the first time in 2022.

The two teams entered this week’s mini-clash (two games) separated by just a half-game in the standings – shades of the ‘Anything-you-can-do-we-can-do-too’ lockstep of last August and September. They also entered as the two highest-scoring teams in baseball (by runs per game).

There was little evidence of that Tuesday.

Dodgers starter Julio Urias held the Giants scoreless for six innings while Giants starter Carlos Rodon allowed just three hits over his six. One of those hits, though, was a two-out, two-run single by Chris Taylor in the second inning and the Dodgers held on for a 3-1 victory.

“I’m expecting 18 more good games,” Taylor said of the divisional matchup. “Every time we step on the field with them, it seems like it goes down to the last out.

“It’s exciting to play in his rivalry.”

And a little repetitive lately. Twelve of their past 25 meetings over the past year (including last year’s National League Division Series) have been decided by no more than two runs.

“It did. It did,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said when asked if Tuesday felt like a continuation of last year’s battles. “They do a really good job of matching up. They exploit every weakness.”

Urias showed none. He was unruffled by a Giants lineup depleted by assorted injuries (and COVID-19). He breezed through his six scoreless innings on just 65 pitches, allowing four hits and striking out four. Only 13 of Urias’ 65 pitches were called balls and the Giants had just one at-bat with a runner in scoring position against him.

Rodon was complicit in the Dodgers’ first scoring rally. Max Muncy worked him for a walk with one out in the second. After Justin Turner struck out (part of an 0-for-14 slide the veteran is mired in), Rodon also walked Cody Bellinger. A wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position and Taylor drove them both in when he shot a 1-and-2 fastball into right-center field for a line-drive single.

“He’s obviously got electric stuff and he comes right at you,” Taylor said. “I was just going up there trying to be ready to hit and hope for a mistake. I was not trying to get too big or do too much because he’s got a good heater and the slider off of that. I was trying to keep it simple and put a ball in play.”

At least three Dodger fly balls each left the bat at 95 mph or higher only to die on the warning track in the middle innings (one each by Bellinger, Muncy and Will Smith) – they must have been using the balls from the back of the humidor.

One-out doubles by Taylor (in the fifth) and Trea Turner (in the sixth) were the Dodgers’ only other hits off Rodon after Taylor’s two-run single. Both were stranded, leaving the two-run lead when Roberts elected to pull Urias despite his low pitch count rather than allow him to go through the Giants’ lineup a third time.

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