(Sports Network) - In a rotation expected to be led by Zack Greinke and
Clayton Kershaw, rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu has been a surprising and consistent
contributor for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After playing stopper last time out, Ryu will try to extend the Dodgers'
current string of success on Friday night when they begin a three-game series
against the slumping Atlanta Braves.
The 26-year-old Ryu is 4-2 with a 3.40 earned run average in eight starts this
season, his first in the major leagues. He has allowed three runs or fewer in
six of those starts and will face the Braves for the first time.
Ryu helped Los Angeles snap an eight-game slide with a 7-1 victory over the
Miami Marlins last Saturday, scattering a run, five hits and three walks over
6 2/3 innings.
"He was really good tonight. He set the tone, putting up all those zeroes,"
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of his left-hander. "It's been a battle for
us, but it's win and hopefully this will start us in the right direction."
That has in fact been the case as the Dodgers have won four of five, beginning
with Ryu's last win, and notched a series victory over the Washington
Nationals with Wednesday's 3-1 victory.
Greinke made an early return to the mound and picked up the victory after
yielding a run on five hits and no walks over 5 1/3 innings. He also added an
RBI single in his first appearance since suffering a broken left collarbone
during a brawl with the San Diego Padres on April 11.
"It feels pretty good to be back. I felt I was healthy enough to pitch over
two weeks ago, I just wasn't sharp enough to pitch," the right-handed Greinke
said. "The collarbone feels pretty good. It's not 100 percent, but it doesn't
restrict me at all pitching."
Adrian Gonzalez added an RBI single in the first while Carl Crawford
contributed a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning for the Dodgers, who still
remain last in the NL West.
Unlike the Dodgers, the Braves began the 2013 season red-hot by going 12-1
over their first 13. However, they have lost 17 of their past 27 since and
Wednesday's loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks gave the club a 4-6 road trip.
Tim Hudson struggled in the 5-3 loss, yielding five runs on eight hits over
five innings. Freddie Freeman went 3-for-4 and drove in all three runs for the
"Just losing two out of three, you feel like we won a couple of those games
because of the way we hit the ball," said Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez.
The Braves have struggled to win lately with Paul Maholm on the mound. The
left-hander is 1-4 over his last five starts with a 6.83 ERA since beginning
the season with three straight wins that spanned 20 1/3 scoreless innings.
The 30-year-old Maholm is coming off Saturday's loss to San Francisco as he
was charged with six runs on eight hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings. He
fell to 4-4 on the year with a 3.94 ERA.
Maholm has struggled over his career against the Dodgers, going just 1-5 with
a 4.91 ERA in nine meetings.
The Dodgers and Braves split six meetings last year, with Los Angeles winning
two of three in Atlanta.
The Sports Network