Hyun-jin Ryu had a rough time in his first major league game in 21 months, and the Dodgers dropped their opener against the Padres, 6-0 on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, the third straight defeat from LA.
Melvin Upton Jr. homered against Ryu to open the first inning, starting Ryu's comeback on an inauspicious note. The left-hander had his ups and downs, looking good with his four strikeouts and six ground ball outs.
But there were also some pitches that were tattooed, like the home run to Upton and the RBI double off the left field wall in the fourth inning by Alexei Ramirez. But even with that, the Dodgers were still in the game, down 3-0 in the fifth inning, when Ryu suddenly hit the wall.
Matt Kemp doubled to center with two outs in the fifth, then Yangervis Solarte doubled down the left field line for another run. After an intentional walk, Alex Dickerson hit the Dickens out of a line drive over the head of a befuddled Yasiel Puig in right field for a triple to bring home two more runs and end Ryu's night unceremoniously.
Ryu threw 89 pitches in his first major league start in 640 days, and allowed six runs on eight hits, double the runs he allowed in his previous five starts against the Padres combined.
The Dodgers offense didn't do much of anything against Drew Pomeranz, who struck out six and walked two in his seven scoreless innings. He allowed only two hits, a single by Howie Kendrick in the third inning and a double by Trayce Thompson in the fourth.
The one glaring positive on Thursday for the Dodgers was Carlos Frias, called up to give the bullpen a rest, and that he did. After Casey Fien recorded the final out of the fifth inning, Frias came in and pitched the final four scoreless innings, needing only 52 pitches.
Corey Seager was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on the night, snapping his hitting streak at 19 games.
Scott Kazmir gets the ball on Friday night for the Dodgers in the second game of the series, a 7:10 p.m. PT start. Andrew Cashner will be on the mound for San Diego.
After Frias filled his role with aplomb, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City for a position player so the Dodgers can go back to a four-man bench for the final three games before the All-Star break.
Home run: Melvin Upton Jr. (14)
WP - Drew Pomeranz (8-7): 7 IP, 2 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
LP - Hyun-jin Ryu (0-1): 4⅔ IP, 8 hits, 6 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts