LOS ANGELES -- Julio Urias was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday after his second straight poor outing Saturday night against the Marlins, when he gave up seven runs (six earned) off seven hits and three walks in a 10-6 loss.
It was the shortest start of Urias' Major League career (20 starts) and the first time he didn't strike out a batter, including three relief appearances he made last season. He's now issued 14 walks against just 11 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings this season, resulting in an unsightly 5.40 ERA.
"The inconsistency of hitting his locations has been, unfortunately, consistent," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "There's something to learning the Major League strike zone, I guess, but there's also a component of hitting the catcher's mitt."
Roberts couldn't identify a mechanical irregularity with the young southpaw, and refuted the idea that Urias' stay in extended spring training was the root of his command issues. Urias himself suggested in a postgame interview Saturday that a lack of confidence could be to blame.
Whatever the problem, the Dodgers decided it'd be best for Urias to work through it in the Minors.
Right-handed reliever Josh Ravin (3.79 ERA in 19 Major League appearances between 2015-16) was called up for the first time this season in a corresponding move. The Dodgers' bullpen has been a bit overworked during their series against the Marlins with Urias' short start and Hyun-Jin Ryu lasting 5 1/3 innings on Thursday.
Relievers have accounted for 12 innings over the first three games of the Marlins series. Chris Hatcher, Luis Avilan, Josh Fields and Ross Stripling have all appeared in two of those three games. Sunday's starter, Brandon McCarthy, has pitched into the seventh inning just once in his six starts this year.
"You do have to guard against the unforeseen potential of something happening to McCarthy that we really can't predict," Roberts said. "You have to be protected."
Ravin's stay with the big league club could be a short one. Roberts confirmed infielder Logan Forsythe will be activated before Tuesday's game against St. Louis, and Kenta Maeda is expected to return from a short stint on the disabled list to start against the Cardinals on Thursday.
Will Laws is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.