LOS ANGELES — Hyun-jin Ryu had just about everything working on Tuesday night, tossing six scoreless innings to lift the Dodgers over the A’s 4-0 in the opener of a two-game set at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers’ left-hander took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and struck out eight in his six frames. What Ryu allowed on the mound — one single and one walk — he matched at the plate, the fifth time in his career he reached base at least twice in a game.
“This was as good as it gets,” said manager Dave Roberts.
Ryu couldn’t get out of the fourth inning in his first start last Monday in Phoenix but with a full seven days rest — thanks to off days and rain — Ryu was extra sharp against Oakland.
After leadoff man Marcus Semien flew out to the warning track in left field in the first inning, only one of his next 19 batters faced even put a ball in the outfield. That was a single to center by Stephen Piscotty in the fifth inning, busting up Ryu’s no-hit bid. In addition to striking out eight Ryu also induced six ground outs and three pop ups.
“The strikeouts, putting the ball on the ground, getting the swing and miss when he needed to. He obviously had command of all his pitches,” Roberts said. “He was in control all night.”
Ryu threw 60 of his 90 pitches for strikes.
“He goes after hitters,” said catcher Austin Barnes. “He really knows how to pitch.”
Dodgers starting pitchers have allowed zero or one run in six of their 10 games this season, with the rotation sporting a 2.03 ERA on the season.
After a pair of singles by the A’s with one out in the ninth inning, Kenley Jansen retired his two batters faced for his second save in as many games.
“His last three outings have been trending in the right direction,” Roberts said. “I wanted to stay away from him up 4-0 to start the ninth inning but we had to get to him. Had to get the win.”
“Nobody’s worrying about him, his stuff is too good,” said outfielder Chris Taylor. “He’s the best closer in the game.”
The Dodgers have allowed no runs in each of their last three home games, their longest such streak since July 7-9, 2011. The only streak longer since Dodger Stadium opened was four games from Sept. 9-11, 1966.
Before Tuesday’s game Roberts said, “If we continue to have good at-bats and pitch the way we have, we’ll be fine.”
Every starting Dodger had at least one hit, and the team hit three home runs on the night, including two right out of the gate.
Just four pitches into the game Taylor got things started with a ball over the left field wall, greeting A’s starting pitcher Sean Manaea rather rudely. It was the first home run of the season for Dodgers outfielders, in their 127th plate appearance.
“It was nice to play from ahead,” Taylor said.
Corey Seager, on the day he received his second consecutive Silver Slugger Award, followed with a 440-foot shot into the all-you-can-rake pavilion in right field for a quick 2-0 lead. The last time the Dodgers opened a game with home runs from their first two batters was last Sept. 18 in Philadelphia when Taylor and Justin Turner did the trick. Taylor’s shot on that night was an inside-the-park job.
For the last time the first two Dodgers batters homered outside of the park to start a game was way back on Apr. 5, 2001, when Tom Goodwin and Mark Grudzielanek did so against Arizona.
Heading into Tuesday, Taylor and Seager had the two largest differences in their wOBA and expected wOBA based on their batted ball profile.
Matt Kemp tacked on another with a solo shot of his own in the sixth inning, his first home run since rejoining the Dodgers, but more on that shortly.
The Dodgers also added two doubles — by Kemp and Logan Forsythe — giving them a season-high five extra-base hits on the night.
Home runs: Chris Taylor (1), Corey Seager (1), Matt Kemp (1)
WP - Hyun-jin Ryu (1-0): 6 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
LP - Sean Manaea (1-2): 5 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (2): ⅔ IP, 1 strikeout