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(LEAD) Blue Jays' Ryu Hyun-jin settles for no-decision vs. Orioles

All News 11:05 August 29, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with final score in paras 4, 24)
By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Aug 29 (Yonhap) -- Toronto Blue Jays' South Korean starter Ryu Hyun-jin has taken a no-decision for his second straight outing.

The South Korean left-hander gave up two runs on eight hits in six innings against the Baltimore Orioles at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, on Friday (local time). He was done after six innings with the score tied at 2-2, and the Blue Jays scored the go-ahead run in the bottom sixth to put Ryu in line for a win.

In this Associated Press photo, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Baltimore Orioles in the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, on Aug. 28, 2020. (Yonhap)

The bullpen, which entered the game with the fourth-lowest ERA in Major League Baseball (MLB) with 3.29, lost that lead in the top of the eighth, with Jordan Romano serving up a game-tying, solo home run to Renato Nunez.

The Blue Jays walked off on the Orioles 5-4 with a two-run home run by Randal Grichuk in the bottom 10th. The Orioles had scored a run in the top of the 10th to go up 4-3, but with two outs in the bottom of the inning, Grichuk delivered the knockout punch with a blast over the center field wall off Cole Sulser.

Ryu struck out seven and walked a batter -- his first free pass issued in three starts. Ryu remained at 2-1 but lowered his ERA from 3.19 to 3.16.

In five August starts, Ryu has given up just five runs in 28 innings for a 1.61 ERA, with 31 strikeouts against six walks.

Ryu was starting on an extra day's rest, after the Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox on Thursday decided not to play their game at Sahlen Field in protest against a recent police shooting of a black man in Wisconsin.

Ryu gave up at least a hit in every inning he pitched against the Orioles and managed to avoid trouble until the infield defense behind him cracked in the sixth inning.

Ryu gave up a leadoff bunt single to Hanser Alberto in the first and dodged a bullet when center fielder Randal Grichuk made a spectacular diving catch on a deep fly by Anthony Santander. Ryu finished the inning on a double play ball by Jose Iglesias.

The left-hander struck out the first two batters of the second, and a two-out single by Ryan Mountcastle didn't amount to anything.

It was much the same story in the third, with Ryu striking out the first two batters and giving up a hit, before leaving the inning unscathed.

Iglesias led off the fourth inning with a single but was stranded there, as Ryu induced two flyouts and a groundout against the next three batters.

The Blue Jays spotted Ryu a 2-0 lead in the bottom fourth, thanks to back-to-back solo home runs by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez off Baltimore starter John Means.

In this Getty Images photo, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Baltimore Orioles in the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, on Aug. 28, 2020. (Yonhap)

Pat Valaika tried to start a rally for the Orioles with a single to open the top of the fifth, but he was erased on a 6-4-3 double play ball by Andrew Velazquez. Cedric Mullins went down swinging for the final out of the inning.

Despite consistent traffic on the base paths, Ryu didn't really have a high-stress situation through the first five innings. He needed just 10 pitches to retire the side in the fourth and nine more in the fifth.

But then Ryu pitched himself into trouble in the sixth. Alberto led off with his third hit of the game against Ryu -- also the Orioles' fourth leadoff single of an inning -- and two batters later, Iglesias singled to left.

Left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. took a bad route to the hit and had to make a sliding stop to keep the ball from rolling past him. He then made a poor throw back to no-man's land in the infield as he was getting up. Ryu alertly picked up the ball and threw it to second to nab Iglesias, but the runner got in safely with a deft swimming slide motion.

Ryu walked Renato Nunez to load the bases but got Pedro Severino to fan on a curveball in the dirt for the second out.

Ryu then worked the count to 2-2 against Mountcastle. One strike away from escaping the jam without any damage, Ryu induced a groundball to third baseman Travis Shaw for what should have been an inning-ending play.

Shaw instead bounced a throw to first baseman Guerrero Jr., who was unable to pick it up and allowed two runners to score for a 2-2 tie.

Ryu, who rarely shows emotions during games, looked visibly frustrated with the play. It was initially scored as an error but was changed to an infield single. Ryu regrouped and struck out Valaika to end the inning.

The Blue Jays came through for Ryu in the bottom sixth, as Guerrero Jr., who led off the frame with a double, came around to score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by reliever Tanner Scott.

The Blue Jays turned to the bullpen to start the seventh. Thomas Hatch worked a scoreless seventh, but Romano, who had allowed one earned run all season in his previous 14 innings, gave up a towering solo shot to Nunez with two outs in the eighth that made it a 3-3 game.

Romano left the game later in the inning with an apparent finger injury, but the rest of the Jays' bullpen managed to keep it tied and take the game to the extra innings. The O's went ahead in the 10th on Alberto's single, only to see it go for naught as Grichuk played the walk-off hero.

In this Getty Images photo, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Baltimore Orioles in the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, on Aug. 28, 2020. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
(END)

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