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Hyun-jin Ryu shuts down the Nationals to even the series

Washington Nationals  v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The pitcher’s duel that was expected on Friday night came a day later in the form of Hyun-jin Ryu and Stephen Strasburg. A trio of homers for the Dodgers would be the difference as they went on to even the series with a 4-0 win over the Nationals.

Ryu was fantastic for seven solid innings, striking out eight while allowing two hits and three walks. The only trouble Ryu ran into was in the third inning when a single and two walks loaded the bases. But the lefty would get out of it unscathed with a groundout to end the frame.

In his last three starts, Ryu has given up only two runs and six hits over 19 innings while striking out 25 with four walks.

The lefty was looking forward to the challenge of facing Strasburg and admitted as much after the game.

“It definitely helped me to focus more,” Ryu said. “I don’t want to say it got to me but I was definitely thinking about the matchup and wanted to make sure I did well to give the team the opportunity to win.”

The Dodgers have won three straight games with Ryu on the mound.

Dodger manager Dave Roberts talked about getting Joc Pederson going at the plate prior to Saturday’s game. Pederson made an immediate impact with a solo homer in his first at-bat. The 26-year-old celebrated his birthday going 2-for-4, adding a single in the eighth inning.

Strasburg was stingy over seven innings, striking out 10 as he looked dominant. The wheels started to come off a little in the sixth when the Dodgers loaded the bases with nobody out but the right-hander would strike out the next three batters.

With a 1-0 lead and a shaky back-end of the bullpen of late, the Dodgers needed some insurance runs. Kiké Hernandez and Cody Bellinger would provide just that.

Hernandez came off the bench for a pinch-hit solo shot in the seventh and Bellinger sent Dodger Stadium into a frenzy when he crushed a two-run shot in the eighth on his bobblehead night.

Up Next

The Dodgers and Nationals will square off on Sunday Night Baseball tomorrow night to decide the series. It will be Alex Wood (0-2, 3.91 ERA) against Jeremy Hellickson (0-0, 3.86 ERA)

Saturday particulars

Home runs: Joc Pederson (1), Kiké Hernandez (2), Cody Bellinger (3)

WP - Hyun-jin Ryu (3-0): 7 IP, 2 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts

LP - Stephen Strasburg (2-2): 7 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts