“You have to throw a perfect game to top Beckett,” Mattingly told the South Korean left-hander.
Ryu nearly did.
He retired his first 21 batters before Todd Frazier’s leadoff double in the eighth inning, and Los Angeles held on to beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Monday.
“For a minute there, I thought, ‘Whew, he might do it,’” Mattingly said.
The Reds hit only three balls out of the infield before Frazier doubled down the left-field line on an 0-1 pitch. That followed a three-run seventh by the Dodgers in which Ryu ran the bases and scored.
|Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin delivers in the first inning on Monday. (AP-Yonhap)|
Ryu came close to making the Dodgers the first team in major league history with consecutive no-hitters. Beckett won 6-0 on Sunday.
“Of course it was in the back of my mind,” Ryu said through a translator, explaining that he had never carried a no-hit bid that deep. “It wasn’t until the seventh that I thought it could happen.”
Los Angeles pitchers tossed a club-record 17 straight hitless innings dating to Saturday, when Paul Maholm got it started against the Phillies.
The only other team since 1974 to have a no-hitter through seven innings in back-to-back games was the Oakland Athletics on July 14-15, 2005, against Texas, according to STATS.
“It gives us confidence as a ballclub that what we’ve been built for is to pitch,” Mattingly said. “It tells me we can get on a roll.”
The only other club since 1974 to pitch 17 straight hitless innings was the Los Angeles Angels from May 1-3, 2012, including Jered Weaver’s no-hitter, STATS said.
“I was more nervous tonight,” Mattingly said. “It’s a one-run game and one swing can change the whole game. It was fun to watch until the eighth.”
Ryu (5-2) was charged with three runs and three hits in 7 1/3 innings, improving to 6-0 in six starts against the Reds. He struck out seven and walked none while winning for the first time at Dodger Stadium this season. He was 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in three previous home starts.
“He was great through seven,” said backup catcher Drew Butera, who also caught Beckett’s game. “When guys see a pitcher a third time they’re a little more confident. He still made some good pitches; they just found some holes.”
Tepesch, Rangers beat Twins 7-2
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) ― Nick Tepesch won his second consecutive start, Elvis Andrus and Chris Gimenez each had two RBIs, and the Texas Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 7-2 on Monday afternoon.
Tepesch (2-0) allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings, striking out four to win consecutive starts for the first time in his career.
Alex Rios added two more hits and now has six straight multi-hit games. The Rangers have won three straight and five of six.
Trevor Plouffe homered and Eduardo Escobar had two hits and an RBI for the Twins, who have lost four in a row since climbing two games over .500 on May 21.
|Texas Rangers DH Choo Shin-soo turns away from an inside pitch in the fifth inning on Monday. The Korean went 1 for 5 with a run scored. (AP-Yonhap)|
After Kevin Correia (2-6) set down nine straight, Roughned Odor and Choo Shin-soo lined back-to-back two-out singles in the fifth. Andrus followed with a double to the gap in left-center that scored both runners and broke a 2-all tie.
Gimenez made it 6-2 with a two-run double down the line in left in the eighth off reliever Jared Burton.
Minnesota had its opening day outfield back together for the first time since the first week of the season. Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia were activated from the disabled list after Sunday’s game and started alongside center-fielder Aaron Hicks.
But the reenforcements weren’t enough to overcome Tepesch, who didn’t allow a runner past second base after surrendering runs in each of the first two innings.
Tepesch dominated Triple-A Round Rock after getting demoted in spring training and has a 2.95 ERA in three big-league starts since being recalled May 14.
Hicks, a career switch-hitter, informed manager Ron Gardenhire before the game that he has decided to only hit from the right side. The struggling prospect is hitting .250 right-handed compared to .149 from the left side.
Boston 8, Atlanta 6
Pittsburgh 5, NY Mets 3
Miami 3, Washington 2
Chicago White Sox 6, Cleveland 2
Baltimore 7, Milwaukee 6
NY Yankees 6, St. Louis 4
Oakland 10, Detroit 0
Chicago Cubs 8, San Francisco 4
Seattle 5, LA Angels 1
Philadelphia 9, Colorado 0
Toronto 10, Tampa Bay 5
Houston 9, Kansas City 2
Arizona 7, San Diego 5