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Teen Urias spins five shutout innings

Dodgers prospect allows one hit, earns first professional win
June 6, 2013

Everything may still be new to 16-year-old Julio Urias, but that hasn't stopped him from enjoying his first month in the Minors.

On Thursday, the Mexican left-hander added another first to his resume -- his first win.

Urias allowed one hit and a pair of walks while striking out five batters over five innings in the Class A Great Lakes Loons' 4-1 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps.

"My outing was pretty good," Urias said through teammate Alan Garcia. "My last two outings were pretty good, but I went five innings tonight. My first outing back in Great Lakes is probably my favorite because I struck out six batters in three innings, but this one was my first win so this is also my favorite."

It was the deepest Urias has pitched in a game in his first three Midwest League starts and it was the first time he qualified for the win.

He didn't allow a run in his debut against Dayton on May 26, but he was limited to three innings. Five days later, he gave up one run on six hits against Lansing, but he came out of the game in the fourth frame after reaching his pitch limit.

While Urias logged about 15 innings in extended spring training before making his pro debut, he found it difficult to compare the two experiences.

"It's a huge difference," said Urias, who threw 33 of 56 pitches for strikes. "The crowd is smaller and all of the guys there in extended are either injured or going to Rookie ball. Going to Single-A is a pretty big jump, but I'm not changing anything. I'm trying to stay the same."

Signed by the Dodgers as a free agent last August, Urias (1-0) set down the first eight batters he faced and saw just one batter over the minimum.

He erased Austin Schotts' two-out walk in the third by picking him off first base, and he used a double play to remove Danry Vasquez, who singled to lead off the fourth. The only other batter to reach base against Urias was Jason King -- who walked in the fifth -- but he was stranded on first when Adolfo Reina struck out to end the inning.

The youngest player in the Minors this season, Urias lowered his ERA to 0.77 in the victory.

"As a leftie, I have been working on my pickoff move since I was little," said Urias, who was urged to have a minor surgical procedure on his eye when he signed with the Dodgers. "But tonight, it was the manager who signaled to me to make the pickoff. I was surprised I got him.

"The [hit] against the lefty [Vasquez], I had two strikes. I made a pretty good pitch, but the lefty made a pretty good swing, too."

It's fair to say that Urias has adjusted to life in America quickly. Well, in most areas, at least.

"It's not the same [as Mexico], but I feel comfortable being here," said Urias, who has a 10-year-old brother and 2-year-old sister back home. "I have been hanging out with all the Latinos, and we have a couple Mexicans here too. I'm comfortable. The only things that are different are the food and the language.

"I Skype every day with my family. The only thing I miss is the food."

Great Lakes first baseman Tyler Ogle hit his eighth homer and shortstop Corey Seager added his fourth in support of Urias.

Yorfrank Lopez (6-3) took the loss for the Whitecaps. He allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out three batters over six innings.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to