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(LEAD) Dodgers' starter Ryu Hyun-jin hits 1st career home run

Sports 07:51 September 23, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS details at bottom, photos)

SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) -- Ryu Hyun-jin has finally run into one.

The Los Angeles Dodgers' South Korean pitcher blasted his first career home run Sunday (local time) at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, taking Colorado Rockies' starter Antonio Senzatela over the right-center-field wall.

In this Reuters photo via USA Today Sports, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Colorado Rockies in the bottom of the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Sept. 22, 2019. (Yonhap)

Ryu's solo shot tied the score at 1-1 in the fifth inning. It came in Ryu's 210th career at-bat.

Ryu was both a stud pitcher and a cleanup hitter on his high school team in South Korea, and has been affectionately called in the United States "Babe Ryuth," after the legendary slugger Babe Ruth.

Later in the fifth, Cody Bellinger launched a grand slam to give the Dodgers a 5-1 lead and put Ryu in line for his 13th win of the season.

Senzatela threw two fastballs to go ahead in the count 0-2 against Ryu. The Rockies' right-hander offered another fastball, right down the middle at 94.1 mph, and Ryu drove it over the opposite field wall, as the Dodgers' bench erupted with joy.

Ryu became the third South Korean-born pitcher to homer in the majors, after former Dodger Park Chan-ho and one-time San Diego Padre Baek Cha-seung.

On the mound, Ryu served up two home runs, a solo shot to Garrett Hampson in the first and a two-run blast by Sam Hilliard in the seventh. Ryu was lifted after seven innings, with the Dodgers up 5-3.

In this Associated Press photo, Colorado Rockies center fielder Garrett Hampson (L) tries to catch a home run by Ryu Hyun-jin of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the bottom of the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Sept. 22, 2019. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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