The Dodgers pounded Justin Verlander for five runs in the first inning, but unfortunately major league games, weather permitting, last nine innings. The other eight innings did not go the Dodgers' way in a stunning 14-5 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park.
Detroit teed off against Hyun-Jin Ryu and several mop-up men for the second-most runs and second-most hits in a game against the Dodgers this season.
A two-run double by Adrian Gonzlaez, an RBI single by Matt Kemp and a two-run home run by Juan Uribe had the Dodgers flying high in the first inning, owners of a 5-0 lead against Verlander. It was the fourth straight game for the Dodgers with a five-run inning, and the second game of those four they have lost.
After Verlander threw 31 pitches in his disastrous first inning, Ryu needed 27 pitches to get though his first inning, though he only faced four hitters and escaped without allowing a run.
The second inning did not turn out as well for Ryu and the Dodgers. It began with a fantastic play by Yasiel Puig, nearly throwing out Torii Hunter at second base. But the tag proved late, giving Hunter a leadoff double in what was the hardest hit ball of the inning, but far from the last.
The first five batters of the second inning got hits, as did eight of the first nine batters of the frame. That five-run lead was erased, by the end of the inning a 5-5 tie.
8 hits allowed in 2nd inning by Hyun-Jin Ryu ties #Dodgers LA record. Also Johnny Podres 1963 Tommy John 1978 Ismael Valdez 1995— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) July 9, 2014
The horror show didn't end there.
After 27 pitches in the first inning and 36 in the second, Ryu only threw nine pitches in the third inning. But not before allowing three more runners to reach base while departing with only one out. The Tigers scored two in the third, then four more in the fourth against Jamey Wright, then a single run in the fifth against Chris Perez. Not to be outdone, Paul Maholm allowed two runs in the seventh.
It was a sequential baseball nightmare for the Dodgers. After the second inning, three of the first four Tigers reached base in the third, then the first six reached base in the fourth.
Ryu in his career has made four starts in American League parks, and has allowed 19 runs on 31 hits in 21⅔ innings.
Pedro Baez, pitching his second major league game, was the only one with a clean ledger, pitching a scoreless eighth inning to keep the Dodgers within nine runs.
Verlander after the home run by Uribe retired 13 hitters in a row, and allowed only one more walk and one more hit the rest of the way, getting the win with his six innings of work.
If there is a silver lining in this game - and there really isn't since nobody really pitched well - its that the final five innings were pitched by truly expendable relievers: Perez, Maholm, and Baez. Three pitchers who could, and probably should (but won't) be gone (Perez, Maholm by release, Baez by option) tomorrow and not be missed.
Home runs: Juan Uribe (5)
WP - Justin Verlander (8-7): 6 IP, 5 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
LP - Hyun-jin Ryu (9-5): 2⅓ IP, 10 hits, 7 runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts