It has to be a great pitching performance to take Luis Cruz’ first home run of the season off the headline, but Hyun-Jin Ryu delivered.
In the best start of what has been a sterling debut as a Dodger, Ryu allowed two hits and no walks over nine innings, striking out seven and retiring 19 in a row at one point, in pitching the Dodgers to a 3-0 victory over the Angels.
The Dodgers have won two games in a row for the first time since May 14-15 against Washington.
Lowering his ERA to 2.89, Ryu simply dazzled, and seemed to get better as the game went on. A two-out, eighth-inning double by Chris Iannetta ended the 19-in-a-row streak that followed Howie Kendrick’s second-inning single, but on Ryu’s 101st pitch of the game, Cruz charged a slow grounder by J.B. Shuck and fielded it cleanly on the shorthop to end the threat and prevent the tying run from coming to the plate.
The play capped a whale of a night for Cruz, who has been hitting pop-ups all season but finally showed some pop, breaking a scoreless tie in the fifth with a two-run homer off former Dodger Joe Blanton. Cruz last homered 90 at-bats ago, September 30 against Colorado.
"Luis Cruz has hit a home run." – Vin Scully, with a trace of amazement #dodgers
— Jon Weisman (@jonweisman) May 29, 2013
In the sixth, A.J. Ellis followed a Matt Kemp double with an RBI single to give the Dodgers their three-run lead.
After that, it was the Ryu show. His previous career high in innings was 7 1/3 in his last start (May 22 at Milwaukee) and in pitches was 114 on May 11 against Miami. He came out for the ninth, and began it by striking out pinch-hitter Brendan Harris, then retired Erick Aybar on a grounder to third. Superstar Mike Trout, trying to keep the game alive, grounded to Mark Ellis at second base, and with 113 pitches, Ryu had his first career complete game and shutout in the States.