LOS ANGELES — Sol De Mexico, an 11-piece mariachi ensemble familiar to generations south of the border, held a concert before the Dodgers played the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. Had Julio Urías thrown a no-hitter, he might have insisted la banda warm up the crowd every time he pitches.
Urías, 20, believes in superstition enough to skip over the third-base line every time he runs to and from the mound. He always wears his blue socks up to his knees. And he might not have spoken a word for the first six innings Tuesday when the Pirates couldn’t get a hit.
Urías lost the no-hitter in the top of the seventh inning. The Dodgers very nearly lost the game before an RBI single by Cody Bellinger in the bottom of the ninth tied the score.
In the 10th inning, Austin Barnes drove in pitcher Ross Stripling with the winning run in the Dodgers’ 4-3 victory.
When Andrew McCutchen led off the seventh inning with a ground-rule double against Urias, the inning — and the Dodgers’ 2-0 lead — quickly unraveled. Left fielder Andrew Toles couldn’t corral McCutchen’s hit and injured himself crashing into the wall. Sergio Romo gave up one run, Luis Avilan gave up another, and the score was suddenly tied, 2-2.
In the eighth inning, John Jaso pinch hit for the Pirates and hit a home run against Pedro Baez.
In the ninth inning, Corey Seager and Justin Turner singled for the Dodgers with two outs, putting runners on first and second. Bellinger smoked a single to right field against Pirates closer Tony Watson, tying the score, 3-3.
Stripling was the surprise pinch runner when Yasmani Grandal led off the 10th inning with a single against Pittsburgh’s Daniel Hudson. The Dodgers are currently carrying a short bench and a large bullpen. Stripling allowed Manager Dave Roberts to substitute a runner for Grandal without burning a bat.
Chris Taylor failed to lay down a bunt and struck out. Hudson struck out Yasiel Puig for the second out.
Barnes then pinch hit for Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen and delivered the unlikeliest hit of them all: a double that split the gap in right-center field and rolled all the way to the wall. Stripling rounded the bases and scored without a slide.
For Barnes, the Dodgers’ seldom-used backup catcher, it was his third RBI of the season.
Urías nearly pitched the game of his life. He’d never allowed one hit in a start longer than three innings or taken a shutout into the seventh, at least not as a major leaguer. Only three pitchers had taken a no-hitter into the seventh inning of a game this season before Tuesday.
The Dodgers’ coaches had implored Urías to throw more strikes after the left-hander walked four batters in each of his first two starts. Urías resisted, starting each of the first five at-bats with a pitch out of the strike zone Tuesday.
But he only walked two of the 22 men he faced and struck out five. One batter reached on an error when Urías clasped his glove too quickly on a routine ground ball. Yet until…