LOS ANGELES (AP) — Perhaps a nine-game road trip will help solve the Dodgers’ recurring defensive woes. At least Hyun-Jin Ryu should feel more comfortable.
The Korean-born left-handed had another poor start at Chavez Ravine on Sunday. He gave up a three-run homer to little-used second baseman Josh Rutledge, a two-run single by Brandon Barnes, and committed one of Los Angeles’ three errors on Sunday in a 6-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
The defending NL West champions, who ended their homestand 4-6, have committed 26 errors in 26 games — including one by Matt Kemp in the eighth, when he dropped a flyball by Rutledge in short center field after a long run.
"Anytime you give a team an extra out, it gives them a better opportunity to score," said shortstop Justin Turner, whose throwing error in the second led to a pair of runs. "I don’t think anybody’s going out there trying to make errors. We just need to relax a little bit and play good defense and be the good defensive players we all are. I wouldn’t say we’re pressing, but everyone’s aware of what’s going on. Sometimes I guess you try a little harder and then you get out of character."
Turner, starting at shortstop because of Hanley Ramirez’s bruised right thumb, bounced a throw past first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on pitcher Jorge De La Rosa’s two-out single in the hole to put runners at second and third. Ryu then hit major league batting leader Charlie Blackmon with a pitch and gave up Barnes’ clutch hit on an 0-2 count that put the Rockies ahead 2-1.
Ryu bobbled a sacrifice bunt to the right of the mound in the fifth inning by Barnes and threw too late to first, as Blackmon took third after his leadoff double. Blackmon scored the Rockies’ third run, beating Turner’s throw after he tagged out Barnes in a rundown on an attempted steal. Ryu’s error was his first in 37 major league starts.
Ryu (3-2) gave up six runs and nine hits in five-plus innings. He is 0-2 with a 9.69 ERA in his three starts at Dodger Stadium, but 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA in four road starts.
"He’s a good pitcher and he’s tough," Barnes said. "The key against him is getting a good pitch to hit and being able to drive it. He likes to stay on the corner, so you just have to try to get a ball up."
That’s what Rutledge did, driving Ryu’s 89th and final offering into the left-field pavilion for a 6-1 lead.
Nolan Arenado had two hits and extended his career-best hitting streak to 17 games — the longest active string in the majors. The Gold Glove third baseman also robbed Scott Van Slyke of extra bases, making a diving stop across the foul line behind third base and throwing him out.
"I told him that was one of the top three plays I’ve ever seen him make. And that’s saying something, because we know there’s a pretty good collection," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He’s as good as I’ve seen, and he’s changed several games this year with his defense."
De La Rosa (2-3) allowed a run and four hits. The left-hander has beaten the Dodgers in three straight starts after going 0-8 with a 7.32 ERA in his 10 previous career starts against them.
"I just tried to attack the hitters," De La Rosa said. "I know those guys and they know me, too. So I was just trying to make my pitches."
Gonzalez drove in the Dodgers’ run with two-out single in the first inning. Ryu’s two-out single in the second was their last hit until Kemp doubled to right-center with two outs in the eighth against Adam Ottavino.
"That’s De La. He’s going to go out there and compete," Barnes said. "You can see it on his face when he pitches. He pitches with conviction and he wants to give us a chance to win."
Ramirez pinch-hit in the ninth and got a two-out infield single against Chris Martin. Gordon followed with a single that loaded the bases for Yasiel Puig, who grounded out to end the game.
NOTES: The Dodgers’ next victory will be their 10,000th as a franchise. … Los Angeles recalled INF Carlos Triunfel from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned RHP Jose Dominguez to Triple-A Albuquerque. Triunfel was claimed on outright waivers from Seattle on April 2. … The Rockies won their fourth straight series after beating San Diego, Philadelphia and San Francisco. … De La Rosa came in 0-3 with a 7.98 ERA in his three other road starts this season.