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Blue Jays' Ryu Hyun-jin tosses 6 shutout innings for 1st win of season

Sports 11:05 May 21, 2022

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, May 21 (Yonhap) -- The Toronto Blue Jays' South Korean starter Ryu Hyun-jin has finally earned his first win of 2022.

Ryu threw six shutout innings against the Cincinnati Reds at Rogers Centre in Toronto on Friday (local time), helping the Blue Jays take the first game of a three-game series by 2-1. Ryu, 1-0 for the season, allowed six hits, including five doubles, but somehow kept the Reds off the board.

Ryu, who struck out three and walked none, lowered his ERA from 9.00 to 6.00.

In this Canadian Press photo via Associated Press, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Rogers Centre in Toronto on May 20, 2022. (Yonhap)

This was Ryu's fourth start of the year and his second since returning from the injured list. He had been rocked for 11 earned runs in his first two starts over 7 1/3 innings before hitting the sidelines. Ryu returned to action on May 14 and held the Tampa Bay Rays to a run over 4 2/3 innings.

Ryu pitched even better this time, commanding his pitches on the edges and keeping hitters off balance. But the box score doesn't tell the entire story.

Ryu gave up a hit in every inning but erased those runners each time.

In the top of the first, Matt Reynolds led off the game with a single, but Ryu later ended the inning on a 6-4-3 double play.

Kyle Farmer hit a one-out double in the second inning, but Ryu got two quick outs, including a strikeout of former Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) player, Taylor Motter.

Ryu retired the first two batters of the third inning on four pitches before Reynolds hit a ground-rule double. But Ryu got out of that jam too as Tyler Stephenson flied out to right field.

With two outs in the fourth, Farmer hit his second double off Ryu, who then retired Mike Moustakas on a line out to left.

In this Canadian Press photo via Associated Press, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Cincinnati Reds during the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Rogers Centre in Toronto on May 20, 2022. (Yonhap)

Ryu continued to walk the tightrope in the fifth, when he surrendered another double, this time to TJ Friedl. But Reynolds flied out to right field to end the Reds' threat.

The Blue Jays broke the scoreless deadlock with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. Ryu returned to the hill for the sixth inning, when Joey Votto hit a two-out double for the fifth two-bagger against the South Korean lefty.

Ryu regrouped and got Farmer, who'd hit two doubles against him, to line out to left field.

The Blue Jays summoned Ryan Borucki from the bullpen to begin the seventh, with Ryu getting congratulatory hugs and high-fives in the dugout.

Ryu threw 78 pitches, 52 for strikes. He threw 27 four-seam fastballs, 22 changeups, 16 curveballs and 13 cutters.

Four Toronto relievers held the Reds to a run over the final three innings to preserve the win.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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