Julio Urías strikes out 12 as Dodgers beat Rockies for 8th straight win

Julio Urías looked furious with himself in the fourth inning on Sunday after throwing a changeup right over the heart of the plate to light-hitting Colorado third baseman Alan Trejo, who crushed the pitch for a score-tying two-run home run to left-center field.

The Dodgers left-hander fielded Elehuris Montero’s ensuing chopper with his bare hand and, with both feet planted and his body squared to first base, threw awkwardly and angrily to Freddie Freeman for the final out before heading to the dugout in disgust.

And to think, just a few hours earlier, manager Dave Roberts was praising Urías for the serenity he had shown in three previous starts in which Urías had begun to regain his dominant 2022 form.

“I think the less emotion, or frustration, he’s showing, it speaks to how comfortable he is with his mechanics,” Roberts said before the game. “And if we can stay there, I think the results will be better, you’ll see less of those outbursts on the mound.”

But one fat pitch followed by an outward display of emotion did not throw Urías off course. Instead, the pitcher channeled that rage toward home plate, striking out eight of the final nine batters he faced to lead the Dodgers to an 8-3 win over the Rockies before a crowd of 45,904 in Chavez Ravine.

The performance helped the Dodgers complete a four-game sweep of the Rockies and earn their eighth consecutive win. The Dodgers have won 12 of their last 13 games and are running away in the NL West, with an 8½-game lead over the second-place San Francisco Giants.

Urías struck out the side in the fifth and sixth innings and struck out two of three in the seventh to complete a seven-inning, three-run, four-hit effort in which he tied a career high with 12 strikeouts and walked none to improve to 10-6 with a 4.35 ERA on the season and 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts.

Dodgers shortstop Miguel Rojas tosses his bat after hitting a solo homer against the Colorado Rockies.

Dodgers shortstop Miguel Rojas tosses his bat after hitting a solo homer in the fourth inning Sunday against the Colorado Rockies.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The Dodgers (71-46) broke open a one-run game with three runs in the sixth inning.

Kiké Hernández singled, Max Muncy walked and Chris Taylor reached on an infield single to load the bases with one out. James Outman struck out, but Miguel Rojas drove a sacrifice fly to center field for a 5-3 lead, and Mookie Betts sent a two-run double to the gap in right-center for a 7-3 lead.

Rojas added another sacrifice fly for an insurance run in the eighth, and his two-out solo homer to left-center field in the fourth, his second of the season, snapped a 3-3 tie. Muncy added an RBI single in a two-run second, an inning Amed Rosario opened with a double, and Will Smith doubled and scored on an error in the third.

The afternoon began on a sour note for the Dodgers when the team announced in the first inning that reliever Joe Kelly, who assumed a high-leverage role after his July 28 trade from the Chicago White Sox, was placed on the 15-day injured list because of right forearm inflammation.

Kiké Hernández celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Rojas against the Colorado Rockies.

Kiké Hernández celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Rojas against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Urías then had his scoreless-innings streak snapped at 16 when Austin Wynns doubled to left in the top of the third and scored on Cole Tucker’s two-out, RBI single to right to cut the deficit to 2-1. Betts prevented a bigger inning with a strong throw from right field to second to nail Tucker, who was trying to stretch his hit into a double.

Trejo’s two-run homer in the fourth tied the score 3-3, but Urías struck out the side in the fifth, Brenton Doyle on a 92-mph fastball, Wynns on an 88-mph changeup and Ezequiel Tovar on an 86-mph cut-fastball, and the sixth, Tucker and Brendan Rodgers with changeups and Elias Diaz with a 94-mph fastball.

Urías whiffed Nolan Jones with a 79-mph curve to open the seventh for his seventh straight strikeout before Trejo flied out to center. Urías closed his outing by striking out Montero looking at a 92-mph fastball.