Ryan Pepiot flirts with perfect game, but Mookie Betts leaves on crutches

Los Angeles Dodgers' Ryan Pepiot delivers a pitch during the first inning.
Dodgers pitcher Ryan Pepiot delivers during the first inning of a 10-0 win over the Miami Marlins on Thursday. Pepiot was perfect over 6 2/3 innings. (Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

Ryan Pepiot wasn’t supposed to be flirting with history Thursday night.

When the week began, he wasn’t even supposed to be pitching for the Dodgers on this trip in the first place.

But just as the team’s season was turned on its head Monday, when news broke that staff ace Julio Urías had been arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence, so too were its plans for Pepiot.

Not only did the rookie right-hander rejoin the team on short notice to start in Urías’ place. But, in an auspicious October audition in the Dodgers’ 10-0 win, he delivered seven dominant innings in a shutout outing — one that briefly seemed destined for a legendary ending.

Read more: Witness alerted park police about altercation that led to Julio Urías’ arrest

Unfortunately, Pepiot’s big night ended with Mookie Betts leaving loanDepot Park on crutches after he fouled a ball off of his foot in the eighth inning. X-rays on Betts’ foot were negative, according to a person with knowledge of the situation unauthorized to speak publicly. He will be re-evaluated Friday.

When Pepiot took the mound at the start of the seventh, he had retired all 18 Marlins batters who had come to the plate.

With his pitch count under 70, he had an unlikely perfect game squarely in his sights.

For a brief moment, it looked like he might get there, too.

National League batting leader Luis Arraez was robbed of a hit by Amed Rosario at second base, when the 6-foot-2 infielder leaped to snare a line drive labeled for right field.

Blossoming slugger Jake Burger was retired next, hitting a deep drive to center that died in the mitt of Kiké Hernández.

And, with veteran Josh Bell facing a two-strike count in the next at-bat, there suddenly appeared to be few obstacles left in Pepiot’s way.

Read more: Q&A: Here’s what comes next for Julio Urías and the Dodgers after his arrest

On his 80th throw of the night, however, Pepiot unleashed a changeup that Bell got just enough of. With a flailing swing, the Marlins designated hitter sent a two-hopper whizzing past Pepiot — who stabbed for a ball that was just out of his reach — and up the middle for a single.

Pepiot’s first reaction was disappointment, hanging his head as Bell pulled into second base.

But then, the 26-year-old right-hander looked up and saw the large contingent of traveling Dodger fans, as well as every one of his teammates in the dugout, were standing in applause of his awe-inspiring display.

Sign up for more Dodgers news with Dodgers Dugout. Delivered at the start of each series.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.