Hyun-Jin Ryu returns from DL, pitches Dodgers to victory

September 1, 2014


Hyun-Jin Ryu's stint on the disabled list was nothing more than a speed bump.

Ryu came off the DL to pitch four-hit ball over seven innings, and Matt Kemp singled in the go-ahead run to help the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 7-1 Sunday and avoid a three-game sweep.

Ryu (14-6) struck out seven and walked none while allowing one run in his first start since a loss at Atlanta on Aug. 13, when he hurt his right hip. Ryu improved to 4-0 lifetime against the Padres.

''It didn't take long for me to find the rhythm,'' Ryu said through a translator. ''I knew it was two weeks, but it felt like I was just there a few days ago. Overall I just felt comfortable, and that's why I was able to pitch comfortable.''

Ryu allowed a double to Yangervis Solarte leading off the first and then Yasmani Grandal's two-out RBI double to tie the game.

But then the left-hander settled down and retired his next 14 batters. The Padres got only two more baserunners against Ryu, both on singles, and one was erased during a double play.

''I thought he was good,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ''First guy gets on, then it seems like he got a quick gear. By the sixth he looked a little bit tired, and in the seventh we let him know that was pretty much it. He seemed to know it.''

Padres manager Bud Black said Ryu's four-pitch mix was impressive.

''This guy is a good pitcher. The Dodgers just didn't go get him from Korea for nothing and give him a lot of money. He is talented,'' Black said. ''It's a fastball that has velocity and darting action. He has a hard slider in the high 80s (mph) that he commands and he has a good hook, a 12-to-6 hook that he can land for a strike, and a good change.

''He is truly a complete pitcher.''

The seven runs were one more than the Dodgers scored in their previous three games combined. They lost by one run in extra innings in the first two games of the series.

The Dodgers kept their 2-1/2-game lead over the San Francisco Giants, who beat Milwaukee 15-5 for their sixth straight win.

''It's always good for us,'' Mattingly said. ''We're in position to control our own destiny.''

Adrian Gonzalez had four hits. He also scored the first of the Dodgers' four runs in the eighth against three relievers.

The Padres' four-game winning streak was snapped. They had beaten the NL West leaders in extra innings the first two games of the series.

Kemp broke a 1-all tie when his single to center with one out in the fifth brought in Hanley Ramirez.

Ramirez walked against lefty Eric Stults (6-15) and advanced on Gonzalez's single to left.

The Dodgers piled it on in the eighth, when they had five hits and two walks. Juan Uribe, who also came off the DL, hit an RBI single and Darwin Barney had a two-run single. Uribe added an RBI double in the ninth.

Stults tied for the major league lead with his career-high 15th loss, which gives him 28 losses in two seasons.

The Dodgers had been 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position in the series before Scott Van Slyke hit a broken-bat single with two outs in the first to bring in Yasiel Puig.

Puig reached on a hustle double opening the game when his fly ball -- made more challenging by the sun -- fell between right fielder Rymer Liriano and second baseman Jedd Gyorko. Puig advanced on a passed ball and scored on Van Slyke's single to right. Liriano threw to third to get Kemp to end the inning.