Dodgers prospect Julio Urias bounced back from shoulder soreness with three perfect innings Wednesday in his third start of the season, hooking up in a pitchers' duel with Kyle McGowin in Rancho Cucamonga's 1-0 loss to Inland Empire.
Urias, the Dodgers' No. 3 prospect and top arm, struck out five and retired all nine batters he faced on 35 pitches. McGowin, an Angels farmhand, turned in seven scoreless frames before the game was decided on Chevy Clarke's RBI single in the eighth when Brandon Dixon's throw to first was off target, allowing Chance Ross to score an unearned run. The Quakes said the pitchers were aided by strong winds in excess of 30 mph -- in from left field -- at San Manuel Stadium.
The 17-year-old Urias looked sharp in his California League debut on April 4, allowing one hit over four innings, but has dealt with shoulder soreness since April 9, when he took a comebacker off his arm in a start against these same 66ers. The injury appeared to linger -- he was rocked for five runs in 4 1/3 innings on April 14, skipped a start and then allowed three runs on three walks while recording just two outs in relief of rehabbing Clayton Kershaw on April 25, his last appearance.
Urias, who threw 26 of his 35 pitches for strikes Wednesday, was reportedly only scheduled to work three innings. He lines up to start again on May 5 against High Desert.
Signed by Los Angeles as an international free agent in August 2012, Urias soared up the Dodgers' prospect rankings after turning in stunning numbers as a 16-year-old in the Class A Midwest League, where he went 2-0 with a 2.48 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings for Great Lakes.
McGowin, a fifth-round pick last summer out of Savannah State, struck out four and held Rancho Cucamonga to four hits. Jake Boyd (1-0) picked up the win after allowing one hit over 1 2/3 frames before Kurt Spomer struck out Aaron Miller to end the game for his first save.
The Quakes' bullpen looked sharp as well, with Goeff Brown tossing four scoreless innings before Rob Rogers (1-1) suffered the loss after allowing two hits and an unearned run in the eighth.
Rancho Cucamonga and Inland Empire wrap up the four-game set Thursday in San Bernadino. The 66ers will be adding fuel to this Southern California rivalry by giving away toilet paper and urinal cakes with the Quakes' name on them.