MIAMI — Jose Urena got off to a fast start and finished with the best start of his career.
Urena pitched 8 2/3 innings of four-hit ball, leading the Miami Marlins to a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
“When you get quick outs early in the game, that helps you more and you can get more deep in the game,” Urena said. “You just have to be aggressive and go after the hitters.”
Urena (4-6) retired the first 14 batters he faced.
“We hadn’t seen that curve ball all year,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He had depth on that and the movement was good. It was a pretty stress-free game for him.”
He struck out four and walked none while throwing 71 of 108 pitches for strikes. It was by far the longest appearance of his 45 major league games.
“You’ve got to give Urena credit, the kid threw the ball well,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It doesn’t matter how well we’re swinging or what happened yesterday, he threw the ball well. He did his job.”
The 24-year-old Urena was lifted after giving up a base hit to Josh Reddick with two outs in the ninth. A.J. Ramos got the final out for his 34th save in 37 chances.
“It seemed like his pitches were getting flatter and up in the zone, and we didn’t want to put A.J. in a situation where he couldn’t make one bad pitch,” Mattingly said.
Christian Yelich had two hits and drove in a run for the Marlins, who have won three of four. Justin Bour also drove in a run.
The Dodgers lost two of three in the series. Their NL West lead was trimmed to three games by San Francisco, which swept Arizona with a 5-3 victory.
Miami won six of seven in the season series.
“They had our number this year,” Roberts said.
Los Angeles right-hander Kenta Maeda (14-9) allowed three runs, two earned, and eight hits in six innings. Maeda had won six of his previous seven decisions.
“I didn’t think I was pitching well the first three innings,” Maeda said through an interpreter. “I think a lot of the balls were hit well were at guys so in general I didn’t really feel I had a good feel.”
The Dodgers put two on with one out in the seventh, but Urena got Yasmani Grandal to ground into a double play.
The Marlins jumped ahead with two runs in the fourth inning. Ichiro Suzuki, Martin Prado, and Yelich hit consecutive singles for the first run and Bour followed with a sacrifice fly.
Yelich’s single to right in the sixth led to another run when Reddick misplayed the ball in right field and shortstop Corey Seager’s relay throw to third base was off line, ending up in the stands. Prado was awarded home and Yelich ended up on third base after the two errors.
Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier made his first start of the season after making a pinch-hit appearance on Sunday. Ethier, who was out with a broken right leg, went 0 for 3.
SHUTOUT DROUGHT CONTINUES
The Marlins have not had a pitcher toss a shutout since Henderson Alvarez accomplished the feat against Tampa Bay on June 3, 2014. It’s the longest current drought in the majors.
“I was working hard to get the complete game, but I knew if I let somebody on base (in the ninth) I would be out of the game,” Urena said.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon showed off his glove in the sixth inning, snagging a hard grounder hit by Chase Utley, falling to the ground and spinning before throwing out Utley at first.
Marlins: RHP David Phelps (left oblique strain) was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. Phelps, who has not pitched since Aug. 26, started in his last five appearances after coming out of the bullpen for his first 50. The Marlins have not announced the plan for Phelps down the stretch.
Dodgers: RHP Jose De Leon (1-0, 4.50 ERA) will start Monday’s game against Yankees RHP Bryan Mitchell (1-0, 1.00 ERA), beginning a three-game series in New York.
Marlins: RHP Andrew Cashner (5-11, 4.77 ERA) will face Braves RHP Mike Foltynewicz (8-5, 4.16 ERA) on Monday in Atlanta. Cashner tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his last appearance against the Braves coming last season while with San Diego.