The final day of August was a big one for the Los Angeles Dodgers, clinging to a 2.5 game lead in the National League West, and on the verge of being swept by the San Diego Padres. Prior to Sunday’s game, Hyun-Jin Ryu reinstated from the 15-day DL, tossed seven strong innings in his return resulting in a 7-1 win for the Dodgers.
It started as a frustrating weekend for Los Angeles, after back-to-back losses in walk-off fashion to a sub-.500 team. On Sunday, the eighth inning became a platform to release all of that bundled up frustration.
Juan Uribe, who also returned from the DL on Sunday, singled home the first run in the eight with the bases loaded and no outs. The Dodgers entered the game last in the major leagues in bases loaded situations; .169 batting average. Los Angeles took a 4-1 lead on the next pitch, when Matt Kemp scored on Jesse Hahn’s wild pitch. Eventually, Darwin Barney broke the game wide open with a two-run single to make a 6-1 game, with the bases loaded, again.
The game started with both teams trading runs in the first inning, with the Dodgers capturing their first lead of the series on a Scott Van Slyke single to right field that scored Yasiel Puig. It was a lead that lasted all but 2/3 of an inning. Yasmani Grandal’s two-out double tied the game 1-1 before you knew it.
That was the only run allowed by Ryu in his return, as he finished with seven strikeouts and no walks in his seven innings of work.
Kemp’s RBI single in the fifth inning gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead, overshadowed by the eighth inning that sealed it. The Dodgers pushed one more across in the ninth when Uribe cashed in his second RBI of the game with a single, scoring Carl Crawford to give them a 7-1 lead.
Los Angeles not only avoids a sweep with the win but they appear to be healthy headed into the biggest month of the regular season, September.
W: Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-6, 3.18)
L: Eric Stults (6-15, 4.56)
-Pedro Baez tossed two hitless innings out of the bullpen