This is getting to sound like a broken record: Los Angeles Dodgers' Ryu Hyun-jin has thrown another scoreless gem.
The Arizona Diamondbacks were the victims this time, as the South Korean left-hander held them to three hits over seven shutout innings in the Dodgers' 9-0 rout at Chase Field in Phoenix on Tuesday (local time).
Ryu improved to 9-1 and lowered his major league-best ERA from 1.48 to 1.35. He struck out two and walked none while retiring a dozen straight batters in one stretch.
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu throws to an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 4, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP-Yonhap)
This was Ryu's second straight scoreless start, and his fifth such outing for 2019. He has yet to allow more than two earned runs in any of his 12 starts this season.
Ryu was named the National League (NL) Pitcher of the Month for May earlier this week, after going 5-0 with a 0.59 ERA last month.
He didn't exactly pick up where he left off, as he had to labor through the first inning when the usually reliable Dodger infield betrayed him.
The miscues by first baseman David Freese and shortstop Corey Seager put runners at the corners, and Ryu induced a soft comebacker off the bat of Christian Walker to get out of his 26-pitch inning.
Ryu entered this match averaging 13.74 pitches per inning, the lowest in the majors.
The left-hander was back to his normal, efficient self in the second inning, needing only six pitches to retire the side in order.
Ryu did get some help from his defense in the third inning.
Taylor Clarke, the opposing starter, hit a dribbler back toward the mound, and Ryu made a wild throw to first that sailed into shallow right field. Clarke tried to stretch it to a double but right fielder Bellinger threw him out at second.
Ryu gave up a double to the next batter, Ketel Marte, but retired the next two batters to keep the D-backs off the board.
Ryu nearly helped his own cause in the top of the fourth, when he delivered a two-out single up the middle with Russell Martin at second base. But Martin, one of the slowest runners in baseball, was thrown out at the plate by Marte, which denied Ryu his second RBI of the season.
Ryu got three straight groundouts in the fourth and had another three-up, three-down in the fifth.
The Diamondbacks got nothing against Ryu in the sixth. Ryu ended up sitting down 12 straight batters until Walker's single with one out in the seventh.
That was the third and the last hit given up by Ryu in the game.
The Dodgers spotted Ryu a 2-0 lead right out of the gate, thanks to Cody Bellinger's two-run triple in the first inning, but it turned out that was more than enough run support for Ryu, who was lifted for pinch hitter Justin Turner in the top of the eighth.
Ryu enjoyed a 32-inning scoreless streak in May. It was snapped in the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 25, and Ryu hasn't allowed a run in 18 2/3 innings since.
Ryu held the Pirates scoreless over his final four innings in that start. He then tossed 7 2/3 shutout innings against the New York Mets on Thursday, before putting up more zeroes over seven innings in this one. (Yonhap)