video thumbnail

LAD@SD: Ryu strikes out seven over seven frames

SAN DIEGO -- With the return of starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and third baseman Juan Uribe from the disabled list, and a return to the win column on Sunday, the Dodgers hope they've weathered the storm.

After back-to-back walk-off losses in extra innings, they pulled away to a 7-1 win over the Padres behind four hits from former Padre Adrian Gonzalez and avoided a series sweep, remaining 2 1/2 games ahead of the persistent Giants in the National League West.

"A good win for us -- we're in position to control our own destiny," said manager Don Mattingly.

Ryu, after 16 days off for a strained right glute muscle, looked more than healthy with seven strong innings. At 14-6, he's matched last year's win total with a fifth victory in his last six decisions. He allowed four hits and struck out seven without a walk, at one point retiring 14 consecutive batters. Ryu is 3-0 this year against San Diego, allowing two runs in 26 innings.

Ryu rejoins ace Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke atop the rotation, Greinke having overcome a tender elbow.

"It's what we hang our hats on -- pitching," said Mattingly. "Those three guys we think are as good as anybody."

One week after the return of shortstop Hanley Ramirez, Uribe returned with a double, single and two RBIs to put the left side of the infield back together.

"It's good to have him back," said Mattingly. "We need to get him on a roll."

Although the club was unable to acquire Adam Dunn for the bench, prospect Joc Pederson will be promoted Monday when the Dodgers host potential postseason opponent Washington.

While some pitchers come off the disabled list rusty, Ryu said the break freshened him up, as another one for a tired shoulder did in May, which was followed by a four-start win streak.

"It felt like I was gone for just a few days," he said. "I felt great. If anything, I needed to rest my shoulder. I actually feel better. I think most pitchers would say rest is always good. Not for long, but it always helps. Rest gives me more energy."

Ryu said he was anxious about whether his injury would recur. But he said he came out fine, even after he walked leading off the third inning and ran from second to third on one of Gonzalez's hits.

His arm was fresh enough for the fastball to touch a lively 95 mph, and he said his curve and changeup were sharp.

"He's got a four-pitch mix," Padres manager Bud Black said of Ryu. "He's a strike thrower, holds runners, fields his position -- he's a truly complete pitcher."

The Dodgers' offense, which mostly sleepwalked through the first two games, was still flat against Padres starter Eric Stults, who was charged with two runs from defensive misplays over six innings and deserved a better fate than his 15th loss.

The Dodgers finally broke out for five runs over the final two innings against San Diego's bullpen. Their first seven batters reached base in a four-run eighth that included an Uribe RBI single, a two-run single by Darwin Barney and an evasive headfirst slide into home by Matt Kemp to score on a wild pitch. Uribe doubled in the final run in the ninth.

Barney started at second base for a slumping Dee Gordon, with Yasiel Puig moved up to leadoff, his only hit in five at-bats a sun-lost double.

"We strung hits together. No big home runs, but our offense doesn't rely on home runs," said Gonzalez. "We had a good approach with runners in scoring position. Today we did what we had to do. Hit singles. Hit in the air here, it's mostly outs."

But Gonzalez said he was also pleased to see Ryu recover so strongly.

"Our rotation is solidified, and the three at the top are really what's going to take us where we want to go," he said. "We have to do our part offensively and win games behind them. We win 60 percent of the games, then we're in a good spot."

MLB.com Comments