Hyun-Jin Ryu continued to dominate opposing hitters, tossing 7 scoreless innings and allowing just 5 hits and 1 walk with 5 strikeouts as he led the Dodgers to an 8-3 victory over the Reds. Cody Bellinger and Russell Martin each homered and Alex Verdugo collected 2 hits and 3 RBIs in the win.
Ryu entered the game with a 1.72 ERA but after throwing 7 scoreless innings, his ERA dropped to 1.52. Ryu has also thrown 31 consecutive scoreless innings.
Ryu worked through some early problems but managed to get back under control.
“It wasn’t a crisp outing for me in the early part of the game,” Ryu said through an interpreter. “I had some traffic out there. My main concern was my velocity wasn’t there in the first inning. I had to be more efficient. I executed my pitches at the right time.”
Verdugo contributed over 1/3 of the Dodger runs on Sunday afternoon with two hits and 3 RBIs. His first came in the second inning when he opened the scoring with an RBI double. Then in the ninth, Verdugo extended the Dodger lead with a 2-run double.
Bellinger hit yet another homer in the seventh inning, bringing his season total to 17. Bellinger got a pitch in his wheelhouse and drove it to center field. The ball barely made it over the glove of the center fielder, Nick Senzel, but it safely made it over the wall for a home run.
Then, an inning later, Russell Martin homered, extending the Dodger lead to 5-0.
The Dodgers get an off-day as they travel to Tampa Bay for a 2-game inter-league series with the Rays. They rays sit at 27-17, half a game behind the Yankees in the NL East. With their low payroll, the Rays rely on unconventional ways to stay competitive. One of these ways is by using “the opener.” With this strategy, a usual bullpen pitcher starts the game, then the conventional start enters in the second inning and goes 5-6 innings.
Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers on Tuesday at 4:10 pm. The Rays have not announced a starter yet, which causes me to believe they will use an opener. Kershaw is 3-0 with a 3.40 ERA this year.