Dodgers 5, San Diego Padres 4: Julio Urias debuts, and the Dodgers hold on for a win.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The story of the game was Julio Urias, the 17-year-old prodigy who needed 14 pitches to mow down the San Diego Padres’ first three batters. Mike Brito, the scout who signed Urias, had a cigar hanging from his mouth as he walked the Dodgers’ clubhouse after the game.

Don Mattingly said Urias will be in the rotation by May “at the latest”: “For me, with young guys, you know it’s going to be a little while. You have to build him up. He hasn’t thrown that many professional innings. To me, you can like him all you want but you really need to grow up, and part of that is the expectation for a 17-year-old. You’re always going to get a lot better. Well, he has to get a lot better, right?

“I had a kid a couple years ago in the (Arizona) Fall League who was a can’t-miss, can’t do anything (wrong) and he’s still not in the big leagues,” Mattingly continued. “I think it’s just easier to let him grow up. He looked really good. For 17, 18, 19 or 20 he looked really good, but I still think we have to let him grow up.”

So we shall. The game that followed Urias’ debut was a good one for a number of Dodgers. Dee Gordon tripled, scored a run, and laid down a bunt for a base hit. He also stole his ninth base (in nine tries). Miguel Rojas went 2 for 3, raising his average to .440. Hanley Ramirez singled, stole second base and scored on an RBI single by Adrian Gonzalez.

The major-league portion of the Dodgers’ bullpen had no trouble. Javy Guerra, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen and Chris Perez combined to throw three scoreless innings.

San Diego rallied for four runs in the eighth inning off minor-league right-hander Romulo Sanchez. Sanchez got out of his own bases-loaded jam by striking out former Dodgers farmhand Alex Castellanos to end the inning.

Mattingly said after the game that Guerra, and possibly Jansen and Howell, would pitch in tomorrow’s game against the Colorado Rockies.

The box score is here.

There’s another game here starting in 80 minutes.

Some notes and observations:

Mike Baxter had a busy day in the field. He played right field, center field and first base in the game. He hasn’t played first base to this point in spring training but he told me that he played the position in college (Vanderbilt) and has been taking ground balls with the other infielders throughout camp.

• Gordon’s bunt hit was not a drag bunt, just a 10-footer between home plate and the mound that made the Padres scramble. He beat the throw by a step.

• The Dodgers drew seven walks in the game. Andre Ethier had two.

Carl Crawford went 0 for 3, lowering his Cactus League batting average to .138. More from the bad batting average department: Joc Pederson (0 for 1), .192; Hanley Ramirez (1 for 4), .229; Tim Federowicz (0 for 3), .077.

• I wonder which can’t-miss prospect Mattingly was referring to. Could it have been this guy?

Seventeen-year-old Dodgers starter Julio Urias: ‘I was not nervous at all.’

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Julio Urias‘ first appearance in a major-league game Saturday was practically over before it started.

The 17-year-old lefty threw 14 pitches in a 1-2-3 first inning against the San Diego Padres at Camelback Ranch. He struck out Will Venable swinging after falling behind 3-0 — all on fastballs — then got Chris Denorfia to ground out and struck out Yonder Alonso swinging on a slider. Three up, three down, 14 pitches, nine strikes.

Urias threw all three of his pitches for strikes. His fastball was clocked in the 93-96 mph range; his curveball in the 75-80 range and his changeup in the 75-79 range.

“I felt really happy. I was under control and not nervous at all,” Urias said through an interpreter.

With his father, Carlos, and an uncle in attendance, Urias garnered as much attention as anyone from the announced crowd of 13,232.

“It’s always been a dream of mine,” Urias said. “I’m happy to be with the Dodgers.”

Sam Demel was originally listed as the starting pitcher for the game. Urias was informed Saturday morning that the plans had changed. That only made him more comfortable; Urias started each of the 18 games he pitched last season for Low-A Great Lakes. By starting instead of reliving he had a full bullpen session before the game to get loose.

Dodgers scout Mike Brito, who signed Urias as a 16-year-old in August 2012, said the plan calls for Urias to begin the regular season at High-A Rancho Cucamonga. Based on the early returns, Urias might not need to be in the California League for long.

“I was not surprised,” Brito said. “He was very impressive.”

Brito, who also signed Fernando Valenzuela as a teenager, doesn’t think it will take long for Urias to be ready for the major leagues. Valenzuela debuted at 19 years old.

Urias said he’d like to be in the majors by the end of the season. The Dodgers have only suited up six 18-year-olds in their history and two 17-year-olds, none since Charlie Osgood in 1944. Urias turns 18 on August 12.

Dodgers prospect Julio Urias, 17, will start and throw one inning against the San Diego Padres.

When Albert Einstein was 17 years old, he was studying math and physics in a teaching diploma program in Zurich. Mozart was working as a court musician in Salzburg at 17.

Left-hander Julio Urias is starting for the Dodgers against the San Diego Padres today, and that might not be too big a leap for the 17-year-old prodigy. The Dodgers signed him as a free agent in August 2012, when he was 16. By the end of last season, he was pitching in low-A Great Lakes.

Urias was dominant. In 18 starts, he allowed 44 hits, walked 16 and struck out 67 batters in 54 ⅓ innings. His 2.48 earned-run average and 1.104 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitch) are the signs of a pitcher who won’t be in the Midwest League long.

Today, Urias was originally scheduled to pitch an inning out of the bullpen. Club officials decided it would be better for Urias to start and pitch a full pregame bullpen session as he’s accustomed to doing, rather than possibly warm up on short notice if scheduled starter Sam Demel encountered trouble in the middle of an inning.

A scout recently clocked Urias’ fastball at 98 mph in a minor-league game. We’ll see how he fares against the San Diego Padres.

There was discussion yesterday about Brandon League possibly pitching an inning out of the bullpen one day after he threw in a minor-league game. Instead League will pitch in a minor-league game tomorrow. He seems unlikely to make the trip to Sydney, Australia, but the Dodgers haven’t made that announcement yet. Here’s what Don Mattingly did announce this morning.

The lineups for both teams for the 1 p.m. game:
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Daily Distractions: Farewell, Shawn Tolleson.

Shawn Tolleson

Shawn Tolleson, who was claimed off waivers Tuesday by the Texas Rangers, faced two batters in 2013 and walked both. (Getty Images)

At some point the Dodgers will add to their major-league roster this off-season.

For now at least, the Dodgers continue to clear room. Reliever Shawn Tolleson was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, leaving the 40-man roster at 31.

Tolleson’s 2013 season was sabotaged by injury. He appeared in one game in April, but couldn’t sleep following the game because of an intense pain his back. Later that month, he had season-ending back surgery.

The Dodgers had to replace his innings somehow, and right-handers Chris Withrow, Jose Dominguez and, later, Carlos Marmol and Brian Wilson, all held down the fort. That was apparently enough for the Dodgers to feel comfortable about cutting ties with the 25-year-old, who not long ago was chosen as the organization’s minor-league pitcher of the year.

In 40 games in 2012, Tolleson went 3-1 with a 4.30 ERA, striking out 39 batters in 37 ⅔ innings.

Some bullet points for a Transgender Day of Remembrance:
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Daily Distractions: When baseball imitates reality television (accidentally or otherwise).

Kenley Jansen

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen jumps into the Chase Field pool after Thursday’s win. (Associated Press photo)

Sports is the original reality television. Nothing like a little drama to spice it up, right?

Forget “Poolgate.” Call the controversy over the Dodgers’ postgame celebration “The Real World: Phoenix” (and hope MTV doesn’t keep a copyright attorney on retainer).

Apparently, prior to the series, the Arizona Diamondbacks asked the Dodgers to confine their clinching celebration to the visitors’ clubhouse. They even stationed some security guards on the field Thursday to make sure the Dodgers didn’t do anything crazy:

As it always does, human nature set in. When someone is ordered not to do something, he finds his best way around it. Ever pull into the carpool lane while stuck in traffic and driving alone? Ever sneak a peak at your phone at a red light, look for a cop, then quickly put the phone away? (There was a case of crude rebellion on Project Runway last night. Ah, reality TV — the reality is, I was ironing before you got into the room!)

The Dodgers ran across the field and into the pool.

The incident has spawned some lengthy prose about celebrations and their place in baseball.

Even Arizona senator John McCain chimed in today:

Again, this wasn’t about a celebration.

Hall, now the Diamondbacks’ president, is the Dodgers’ former director of public relations. He may have discretely asked the Dodgers not to go back onto the field to celebrate, but then how did Scully find out and mention this on the broadcast? That got the fans involved, too. Pretty brilliant way to incite a rivalry, accidentally or otherwise.

Seeing the drama go viral, it’s not hard to imagine Hall sipping on some champagne himself this morning.

Some bullet points to get you through the weekend:
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Mental approach ought to determine Edinson Volquez’s success with the Dodgers.

Edinson Volquez

Edinson Volquez was 9-10 with a 6.01 earned-run average this season before he was placed on release waivers Wednesday by the San Diego Padres. (Getty Images)

Edinson Volquez was laughing Friday. Maybe it was nervous laughter; reading someone’s emotions can be difficult the first time you meet them.

The right-handed pitcher, who officially signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers on Friday, was talking about his last start seven days ago against the Chicago Cubs.

“Every pitch I threw, they hit them,” Volquez said. “I was surprised because I have good numbers against the Cubs. I saw my record agianst them, it was 5-0, 2-point ERA [actually 2.98]. I had a lot of confidence. Then in the first inning it was like six runs, five (earned) runs, in the first inning. It’s not good.”

Cue the awkward laughter.
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Two days after benching, Yasiel Puig is batting leadoff for the Dodgers against the San Diego Padres.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig was benched midway through the Dodgers’ last game against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer)


Yasiel Puig‘s benching lasted half a game.

Puig is back at the top of the Dodgers’ batting order today with the San Diego Padres in town. The rest of the lineup has a very normal look to it with Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound.

There will be no (re-)rematch between the Dodgers and Carlos Quentin. The 31-year-old outfielder, who broke Zack Greinke‘s clavicle in April, is having season-ending knee surgery. Greinke is scheduled to start Sunday.

San Diego is also giving Chase Headley a second consecutive game off. The third baseman came down with back spasms Tuesday in Phoenix and hasn’t played since. No word yet whether Headley, who hit 31 home runs last season but has been stuck on eight since July 27, will be available off the bench.

Left-hander Eric Stults, whose first eight seasons were spent in the Dodgers’ organization, starts for San Diego. He’s 1-2 with a 3.75 earned-run average in four career starts against his former team.

Leave your jackets at home — it’s 90 degrees with a slight breeze.

Here are both teams’ lineups for the 7 p.m. game:
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Daily Distractions: The San Diego Padres will reportedly lose their shortstop, and other Biogenesis news.

Everth Cabrera

Everth Cabrera is facing a 50-game suspension with 50 games left on the San Diego Padres’ schedule. (Getty Images)


There are no Dodgers major or minor-leaguers on a composite list of Biogenesis names compiled this morning by Deadspin.com, but the San Diego Padres are about to lose their everyday leadoff hitter and shortstop, Everth Cabrera.

That was perhaps the biggest takeaway for the Dodgers in the fallout from the shuttered drug clinic. Cabrera is one of 12 players who will reportedly accept 50-game suspensions today. New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez is expected to appeal his proposed suspension.

Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal (along with A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon and Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera) has already served a 50-game suspension for failing a drug test and will not be suspended again. Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun accepted a 65-game suspension in July.

Cabrera and the Padres have six games left against the Dodgers this year. Of course, San Diego is 10 games out of first place in the National League West and going nowhere fast. So you can count your lucky stars that no Dodgers are among the Biogenesis dirty dozen, move along, and pay attention to that little 14-game road winning streak the Dodgers are putting together.

About that:

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Padres unite Ian Kennedy, Carlos Quentin in trade with Diamondbacks.

The Dodgers haven’t completed any trades this morning, and don’t appear to be close on any either. They have had some interest in making trades within their division, but that’s a difficult proposition. Especially when you’re in first place, the rest of the division trying to knock you off your perch.

That didn’t stop the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres from pulling off a rare intradivision swap Wednesday morning. The Padres receive starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, while the Diamondbacks receive relief pitcher Joe Thatcher, minor-leaguer Matt Stites and a draft pick.

The trade unites Kennedy and outfielder Carlos Quentin in San Diego, the two players responsible for inciting benches-clearing brawls with the Dodgers this season.

Postgame thoughts: San Diego 7, Dodgers 2.

Matt Kemp Don Mattingly

Matt Kemp was benched to start Wednesday’s game yet still came to bat with a total of six runners on base against the San Diego Padres. He drove in one. (Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News)

“We had 10 hits today?” Adrian Gonzalez asked in an otherwise silent Dodgers clubhouse.

Yes.

“Same old story,” he said.

The Dodgers are no mystery after 15 games. They are putting runners on base (their .337 on-base percentage is fourth in the National League) but not driving them in (their 39 runs scored are second-fewest in the NL, ahead of only the Miami Marlins). They’ve won seven games because their pitching staff is generally excellent. When it’s not excellent, as was the case Wednesday with Clayton Kershaw, they’re in trouble.

Maybe one person at the ballpark knew the Dodgers were in trouble from the outset Wednesday, and that was Kershaw himself.

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