Urena adjusts, withstands early attack

Rookie righty allows two runs in 1st but completes six innings

Urena adjusts, withstands early attack

MIAMI -- Jose Urena's first start at Marlins Park was shaping up to be a short one. The Cubs came out aggressively, swinging at first pitches, and they claimed a two-run lead in the first inning.

Before Monday night could have snowballed on Urena, the rookie regrouped, executed some quality offspeed pitches, and he worked six innings in Miami's 5-1 loss.

The Cubs wasted little time attacking Urena. Dexter Fowler ripped the rookie's first pitch of the night into center field for a single. Kris Bryant drew a walk, and Anthony Rizzo took a big cut at a first pitch. With the count 1-2, Rizzo delivered an RBI double.

Rizzo's RBI double

Jorge Soler's RBI grounder to second gave Chicago two runs before the Marlins came to bat.

"They attacked my fastball early," Urena said. "That's what cost me those two runs in the first inning. That's part of the game.

"I was able to make an adjustment. I was able to [adjust] my curveball, changeup, and that helped me out to go later into this game."

Soler's RBI grounder

Urena, making his second big league start and first at home, was able to throw his breaking ball and changeup for strikes. It helped him end the outing on a positive note as he gave up three runs in six innings, striking out four.

"I thought that was a big step forward for him," manager Dan Jennings said. "He's a gutsy kid. He competes. He challenges the hitters. He's going to have a nice future, nice career."

Urena is Miami's No. 2 prospect, according to MLB.com. He was 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA in six Triple-A starts. He was called up to round out the rotation because three starters are on the disabled list.

"The quality of his strikes, I thought they greatly improved," Jennings said. "He threw some tremendous changeups in key situations, key counts. It benefited him to be able to use that pitch."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.