- Associated Press - Friday, May 27, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - Julio Urias took the mound at Citi Field, becoming the first teenage starting pitcher in the major leagues since Seattle’s Felix Hernandez in 2005.

“I’m not going to lie. When I went out there, I started thinking of everything I had to go through to get here,” he said hours later, speaking through a translator.

His major league debut lasted just 59 minutes. Urias gave up three runs in the first and was removed after 2 2/3 innings in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 6-5 loss to the New York Mets on Friday night.

“I will never forget everything that happened in this game because this is the happiest day of my life,” he said.

The 19-year-old left-hander, regarded among baseball’s top prospects, struggled with his control and the strike zone of plate umpire Dan Bellino. He threw 81 pitches to 17 batters, just 42 strikes, and started 13 of 17 batters with balls, including his opening five and nine of his first 10,

“I thought some of them were in the zone,” he said. “I have to look at the video to double check and see if they were strikes.”

Urias quickly realized big league batters were much better than their Triple-A counterparts.

“They’re looking for specific pitches and sometimes I tried to fool them and I wasn’t able to,” he said.

He allowed five hits and four walks while striking out three. Urias started his outing by striking out Curtis Granderson with a 94 mph fastball on the high, outside corner.

“He didn’t look rattled. He didn’t look nervous by any means, especially with a packed house, on the road,” Granderson said. “I thought he held his composure very well.”

Chase Utley had four RBIs, including a tying three-run double off Jeurys Familia (2-0) with two outs in the ninth, and was booed loudly all night by Mets fans still angry he broke a leg of Ruben Tejada with a takeout slide in last year’s playoffs. But Granderson homered off Pedro Baez (0-1) leading off the bottom half, the fifth homer Baez allowed in 21 innings this season. The Dodgers dropped to 25-24 with the end of their four-game winning streak.

“To sustain any momentum has been tough for us,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Wearing striking white glasses and making theatrical jumps over the third-base line, Urias’ debut drew comparisons to the early Dodgers days of fellow Mexican pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, who joined Los Angeles as a reliever in 1980 and sparked “Fernandomania” as a brilliant starter the following season.

“Naturally, that’s the comp, but to compare to anyone to Fernando and what he did after you look at the impact he made on the Mexican community as well as the Dodgers and baseball in general is unfair,” Roberts said.

Signed by the Dodgers in August 2012, after the team saw him while scouting Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig, Urias has been treated tenderly in the minor leagues, where he never threw more than six innings or 89 pitches in any start. He had surgery late last May to remove a benign mass that had caused a droopy left eyelid, causing him to use the glasses.

His progress through the minor leagues got him recognition throughout baseball.

“Nobody gets called to the big leagues at 19 unless you’re really, really good,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Urias was 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA in seven starts and one relief appearance this season from Triple-A Oklahoma City, striking out 44 and walking eight, and had thrown 27 consecutive scoreless innings when the Dodgers announced Thursday he would start in place of Alex Wood, who was pushed back in the rotation because of a triceps injury.

But the Mets’ Dwight Gooden in 1984 remained the only teenage starting pitcher in the last 42 years to win his big league debut.

Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to deep left with one out and advanced on a wild pitch, and Urias got Mets captain David Wright to swing past a 95 mph fastball.

Yoenis Cespedes walked, and Neil Walker reached down for a curveball and doubled to left. With Urias’ arm speed slowing for a changeup, Juan Lagares followed with a two-run single to center that boosted the lead to 3-0 and prompted a trip to the mound by pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.

Kevin Plawecki singled, ending an 0-for-17 slide, before Eric Campbell lined to left for the inning’s final out.

Urias pitched a hitless second around a walk to Granderson and retired the first two batters in the third before loading the bases on a single and two walks.

“The fastball command just may be a tick off,” Roberts said. “There were a couple of seeing-eye hits.”

Urias became the first teenager to play for the Dodgers since Valenzuela and their youngest starting pitcher since Dick Calmus in 1963.

“He’s got four legit pitches,” Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said. “That’s more than I have now.”

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