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Blue Jays' Ryu Hyun-jin touched for 3 home runs vs. Yankees

All News 10:01 September 08, 2020

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Sept. 8 (Yonhap) -- Once again, Ryu Hyun-jin couldn't solve the New York Yankees.

The South Korean starter for the Toronto Blue Jays was roughed up for three home runs against the Bronx Bombers at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, on Monday (local time), and was pulled after five innings with the Blue Jays trailing 5-2.

Ryu was charged with five earned runs in five innings. Three of the six hits he gave up went over the fence, including back-to-back jacks by Luke Voit and Aaron Hicks in the top of the first.

In this Associated Press photo, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the New York Yankees in the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, on Sept. 7, 2020. (Yonhap)

Ryu's ERA ballooned from 2.51 to 3.19. He had allowed just four earned runs over his past six starts combined, spanning 34 innings, prior to this messy start.

The five runs allowed also tied Ryu's season high. He hadn't given up a long ball since Aug. 11 versus the Miami Marlins, five starts ago.

In three career starts against the Yankees, Ryu has served up seven home runs and 15 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings for an 8.80 ERA.

In his previous meeting against the Yankees while pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers in August last year, Ryu had also allowed three home runs. And this game had an inauspicious start, as Voit and Hicks each hit a solo shot with one out in the first.

The Blue Jays got a run back in the bottom first with Rowdy Tellez's RBI double, and then Santiago Espinal came through with a game-tying single in the bottom second. And after those two early homers, Ryu settled down to keep the Yankees off the board over the next two innings.

But with one out in the fourth, Ryu gave up a solo home run to Miguel Andujar that put the Yankees back up by 3-2.

The fifth inning sealed Ryu's fate. DJ LeMahieu and Voit reached with consecutive singles. Ryu retired Hicks on a pop fly to catcher, but cleanup Clint Frazier broke things open with a double to left field that scored both runners.

Left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. made a good throw home that could have nabbed Voit, but catcher Danny Jansen couldn't squeeze the ball as he tried a swipe tag.

The bullpen took over to begin the sixth.

On offense, the Blue Jays wasted a few early chances to take the lead. They wasted two singles in the bottom third, and stranded a pair of runners again in the bottom fourth after starter Jordan Montgomery walked two batters.

Gurriel Jr.'s one-out double in the fifth didn't amount to anything, as Jonathan Villar grounded out and Travis Shaw struck out.

This is the first game of a crucial three-game series with huge pennant race implications. The Blue Jays entered this contest in second place in the American League (AL) East at 22-18, one game ahead of the Yankees, who had lost 13 of their past 18 before Monday.

The top two clubs from each division will qualify for the postseason, joined by the next two best clubs.

In this Getty Images photo, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the New York Yankees in the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, on Sept. 7, 2020. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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