SYDNEY -- Korean pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig
and Dominican infielder Juan Uribe carried the Dodgers' international banner in the Opening Series finale, leading a 7-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, L.A.'s second in two games in MLB's regular-season lid lifter Down Under.
In front of a crowd of 38,079, Ryu continued what Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw began with an Opening Day win at Sydney Cricket Ground. Ryu allowed two hits in five scoreless innings. He struck out five and walked one, but the bullpen didn't fare as well once the ninth inning rolled along, with Paul Maholm giving up a Martin Prado two-run double and Kenley Jansen allowing a two-run homer to Mark Trumbo as the D-backs tried to claw back from a six-run deficit in the ninth.
On offense, Ryu singled and scored a run in the third inning, but not before hurting his toenail when he was held up abruptly rounding third base. He stayed in the game, though, and with his brother and best friend in town from Korea to watch, became the first Korean pitcher to win a Major League game overseas.
Puig, 0-for-5 on Saturday, went 3-for-4 with an RBI double, was hit by a pitch, drove in two runs and scored one. That made up for his first two base running malfunctions of the young season. The right fielder also made a key catch of an Aaron Hill sinking liner to end the seventh inning with the bases loaded and Paul Goldschmidt on deck.
The Dodgers had base runners constantly, with 13 hits and eight walks plus three Arizona errors, and they were 5-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Leadoff hitter Dee Gordon
joined No. 2 hitter Puig with three hits and an RBI and scored twice, the table setters going 6-for-9. Uribe also had three hits with an RBI.
Puig left the game after striking out in the ninth and headed to the clubhouse early with a sore back. Mattingly said he may have an MRI when the club arrives in Los Angeles.
Before the game, Mattingly talked about the bumps and bruises that come with Puig's intensity.
The Dodgers returned to Los Angeles for a few workouts and jet-lag recovery, and a three-game exhibition Freeway Series against the Angels, before the resumption of games that count in San Diego next Sunday night. After platooning ex-Lookout Justin Turner and Gordon at second base in Australia, it will be interesting to see what Mattingly decides to do back in the States after the dynamics provided by Gordon and Puig at the top of the order.
Mattingly has repeatedly cautioned about the difficulty in flipping the switch on and off between real games and exhibitions, but at least the Dodgers know they will remain unbeaten in the standings for another week.
--- Source: MLB.com
Dee Gordon is being converted from shortstop to second base.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt