GLENDALE, Arizona (AP) ― Ryu Hyun-jin’s claim on a spot in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting rotation went from good to likely Saturday night after the South Korean left-hander tossed seven innings of one-hit ball in a 10-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
“It would be very hard to say that he wouldn’t be in the rotation with the way he has pitched,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
After a rocky start, Ryu retired 17 of 18 batters, including the last 11 he faced.
Dodgers starter Ryu Hyun-jin (Yonhap News)
“I was not able to command my pitches the way I needed to at first,” Ryu said through an interpreter. “But as the innings went by, I was able to settle down.”
In the first, Ryu walked Chicago leadoff batter Alejandro De Aza and then allowed De Aza to score on a wild pitch. But after giving up a double to Tyler Flowers and a run on a sacrifice fly to Dewayne Wise in the second, Ryu was unhittable.
“I could feel a little more life in in my pitches, especially my fastball,” Ryu said. “Tempo, everything was good.”
Ryu even got the Dodgers’ first hit, a single to right field off Chicago starter Jake Peavy, who allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings.
“I was a little dumbfounded,” Ryu said. “I squared up and felt it. I was very happy, especially against a former Cy Young Award winner.”