Ryu retired the first 21 batters he faced on Monday, nearly topping teammate Josh Beckett's no-hitter one day earlier. The Dodgers as a team threw 17 consecutive hitless innings dating back to the final inning on Saturday, a new L.A. Dodger record, per Elias Sports.
The bid for history ended when Todd Frazier doubled to left field to open the eighth inning. Ryan Ludwick followed with a single, then Chris Heisey ended the shutout bid with a sacrifice fly to right field. Brayan Pena singled to end Ryu's night, but he left up 4-1 with a pair of runners on base.
Brian Wilson struck out Devin Mesoraco for the second out of the eighth, but then walked Skip Schumaker to load the bases.
Billy Hamilton followed with a double to the gap in right center field that would have tied the game were it not for Yasiel Puig cutting the ball off and quickly throwing it in to relay man Dee Gordon, somehow holding Schumaker at third base.
After another walk by Wilson to load the bases, this one to Zack Cozart, closer Kenley Jansen was summoned to put out the fire.
Jansen did just that, striking out Brandon Phillips with the bases loaded to end the eighth, then set down Cincinnati in the ninth for his 15th save. It was the fifth save lasting more than an inning in Jansen's career, and his first since Aug. 12, 2013.
Ryu struck out seven and allowed one run on three hits in his 7⅓ innings. He threw 95 pitches, 66 for strikes, and walked none.
Before Ryu, the last Dodgers pitcher to take a perfect game into the eighth inning was Hiroki Kuroda on July 7, 2008 against the Braves. That night, Kuroda allowed a double to Mark Teixeira to open the eighth and settled for a one-hit shutout.
The Dodgers scratched across an unearned run off Johnny Cueto in the third inning, then rallied with a little help from Ryu in the seventh. With runners on second and third base and one out, Ryu grounded softly but Cozart at shortstop dropped the ball. Ryu was safe at first and also picked up an RBI on the play for a 2-0 lead. Carl Crawford doubled two batters later to score two more runs, including Ryu for a 4-0 advantage.
In the woulda, coulda, shoulda department, had Ryu recorded the final six outs without allowing a Red to reach base, he would have been the first pitcher ever to throw a perfect game and both drive in and score a run in the same game. The only ones with a perfecto/RBI combination are Catfish Hunter (1968) and Jim Bunning (1964).
The Dodgers got within six outs of doing something no team had ever done. Only once before in baseball history had a team thrown no-hitters on back-to-back days. Ernie Koob of the St. Louis Browns no-hit the Chicago White Sox on May 5, 1917, then the next day Bob Groom did the same, though in the second game of a doubleheader so they weren't consecutive games.
Ryu has 19 unintentional walks in his last 21 starts.
Puig was 0-for-2 at the plate but walked twice to extended his streak to 27 straight games reaching base by hit, walk or hit by pitch. His on-base percentage during that span is .504.
Andre Ethier, the only Dodger even with seven seasons of 30 or more doubles, had no two-baggers is first 23 games this season. But his double to lead off the fourth inning was his eighth in his last 21 games, hitting .333/.389/.455 during that span.
Erisbel Arruebarrena, starting and playing in his fourth major league game, hit a ground-rule double and scored in the seventh, his first career extra-base hit.
Drew Butera had a passed ball in the ninth inning, allowing the tying run to get into scoring position. It was the sixth passed ball of the season for Butera, tied with Tyler Flowers of the White Sox for most in the majors.
Justin Turner opened the seventh inning with a 16-pitch walk, six more than the most pitches in a single plate appearance by a Dodger this season. Former Dodgers infielder Alex Cora, he of the 18-pitch home run in 2004, had some fun at Turner's expense:
A walk? Yawn! Good try Justin— Alex Cora (@ac13alex) May 27, 2014
Home runs: none
Stolen bases: Carl Crawford (9)
WP - Hyun-jin Ryu (5-2): 7⅓ IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 7 strikeouts
LP - Johnny Cueto (4-4): 6⅓ IP, 4 hits, 4 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (15): 1⅓ IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts