Long after Hyun-jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig made their respective cases for National League Rookie of the Year, pinch runner Skip Schumaker scampered home on a wild pitch by Anthony Varvaro, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 win over the Braves at Dodger Stadium in 10 innings.
The Dodgers, who have won two straight and four of five in the Puig Era, collected their first walk-off win of the season.
Ryu said one of his goals was to win National League Rookie of the Year, and he has done just about everything in his power so far to make it happen. Ryu lasted 7⅔ innings on Friday, his third straight start of pitching at least into the eighth inning. He allowed just one run and struck out six, continuing his magnificent season.
In six starts at Dodger Stadium in 2013, Ryu is 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA, with 39 strikeouts and eight walks in 42 innings, an average of seven innings per start. Overall, Ryu is 6-2 with a 2.73 ERA, with 73 strikeouts against just 23 walks. If he doesn't win Rookie of the Year, Ryu may have to settle for simply being an All-Star.
Then again, Puig:
It took 18 plate appearances, but after Puig was 0-for-2 to start Friday's game his batting average dropped below .400 for the first time in his major league career. At .389.
Puig made up for that in his very next at-bat, with a game-tying pop fly home run into left field in the sixth inning to tie the game at 1-1. Puig in just five games already has four home runs, tied with Andre Ethier for fourth on the team, and Puig has hit the cycle of home runs: in order, a three-run shot, a two-run home run, a grand slam, and a solo tater.
With a runner on third base and two outs in the eighth inning, Puig was shown the ultimate respect, as the Braves intentionally walked him. It was the first walk of the career of Puig, who is now hitting .421/.450/1.105.
With 10 RBI, Puig tied the MLB record for most runs batted in through five career games, along with Jack Merson (1951) and Danny Espinosa (2010).
Per Elias, Puig and Mike Jacobs are the only two players in the modern era to hit four home runs in their first five games. Jacobs hit four home runs in his first four career games in 2005.
What about Evan Gattis of the Braves, the man who won the first two NL Rookie of the Month awards? Well, Kenley Jansen got the better of him this time, striking out Gattis to end an Atlanta threat in the eighth inning.
The suddenly hot Dodgers will put their Puig-infused play to the test on Saturday, with Stephen Fife facing off against Kris Medlen in the third game of the four-game series.
Home runs: Yasiel Puig (4)
WP - Brandon League (2-2): 1 IP, 1 hit
LP - Anthony Varvaro (3-1): ⅓ IP, 2 hits, 1 run