PITTSBURGH — Hyun-Jin Ryu knew his scoreless streak wouldn't last forever. So when it finally came to an end at 32 innings against Pittsburgh, the Los Angeles Dodgers' veteran pitcher shrugged.
"I wasn't really thinking about the streak to begin with," Ryu said.
There were more pressing matters on Saturday night anyway. Namely trying to find his way on a night when he admittedly didn't have his best stuff. Though he lacked the crispness that marked the best stretch of his injury-marred six-year career, Ryu found a way anyway in a 7-2 victory.
Ryu (7-1) allowed a season-high 10 hits but managed to clamp down when necessary to get through six innings as the Dodgers beat the Pirates for the 10th straight time.
"They were pretty aggressive at the plate and some of my pitches weren't as sharp as I wanted them to be," Ryu said after his ERA ticked up to 1.65. "At the end of the day I did give up a lot of hits and it hurts to give up that many hits but I was able to limit damage."
And do a little damage at the plate in the process. Ryu gave the Dodgers the lead for good in the fourth when he turned a full-count fastball from Joe Musgrove (3-5) into a double to the gap in right-centre field that scored Chris Taylor to put Los Angeles up 3-2.
"I think it was the first time this year I made hard contact at the plate and it just happened to be a good hit," Ryu said.
Asked if he felt it was a home run, the 32-year-old joked "it was hit well but I have to work on my launch angle."
Maybe Ryu was just trying to fit in. His double was one of eight by the Dodgers on the night, the most by any team in the majors this season. Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager both doubled and drove in two runs. Bellinger finished 2 for 4 to boost his major-league leading batting average to .391. Max Muncy added two doubles of his own as Los Angeles won for the eighth time in 10 games.
"We're very dynamic," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "We don't discriminate against the double."
Ryu's scoreless streak that began on May 1 against San Francisco ended at 32 innings — the 10th longest in franchise history — when Pittsburgh's Josh Bell led off the second with a double then raced home when Los Angeles catcher Russell Martin threw wide of third base trying to cut down Bell after Melky Cabrera's swinging bunt. Cabrera scored later in the inning on an RBI single by Cole Tucker to tie the score at 2.
It was all the Pirates would get against Ryu. Though Starling Marte had three of Pittsburgh's 11 hits while Bell and Kevin Newman chipped in two hits apiece the Pirates lost for the fourth time in five games after going 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position and leaving eight men on base.
"We pushed a guy that nobody's pushed for a while," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "Nine hits through the first five innings (but) ... we weren't able to add on."
Dodgers reliever Julio Urias pitched two scoreless innings in his first appearance since returning from administrative leave following his arrest for investigation of misdemeanour domestic battery earlier this month. There was a small smattering of boos when Urias was introduced.
"With Julio nothing surprises us," Roberts said. "Hadn't pitched in a major league game in quite some time. Ball was coming out good ... I thought two innings was perfect for him."
BANGED UP BUCS
Pittsburgh catcher Francisco Cervelli left in the fourth inning with concussion-like symptoms shortly after getting hit by Bellinger's bat. Cervelli, who has dealt with concussions each of the last two seasons, will be re-evaluated on Sunday. If he heads to the injured list, he'd push Pittsburgh's total number of players who have been put on the list to 21, the most in the majors.
"I think there's a part of (Cervelli) that doesn't ever want to come out of games," Hurdle said. "There's a part of him that also thinks, 'You know what, I'm not going to do myself any good by continuing, either.' He's had enough experienced through it all by now that he knows when it's time to back away."
Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner was held out of the lineup as a preventative measure due to discomfort in his left shin. ... RHP Pedro Baez (upper right leg contusion) was given a third straight game off.
Pirates: RHP Chris Stratton (right side discomfort) was placed on the 10-day injured list and moved Lonnie Chisenhall (fractured right index finger) to the 60-day injured list, though Chisenhall is eligible to return next week. Pittsburgh recalled RHP Dovydas Neverauskas from Triple-A Indianapolis and selected the contract of RHP Rookie Davis. Davis and Neverauskas both pitched in relief of Musgrove in an effort to help out Pittsburgh's overtaxed bullpen.
Dodgers: Kenta Maeda (5-2, 3.51 ERA) returns from a stint on the injured list with a left adductor contusion on Sunday. Opponents are hitting just .220 off Maeda in nine starts.
Pirates: Chris Archer (1-4, 5.55 ERA) looks for his first victory since April 7 in the series finale.
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