LOS ANGELES—For the first time this season, Hyun Jin-Ryu was still on the mound past the fifth inning, where he finally delivered a serviceable performance. Jin, still seeking his first win since 2014, only gave up one run in six solid innings of play. Unfortunately, his team couldn’t give him the run support he needed to leave the game victorious, as they lost a low scoring 2-1 game to their hated rivals.
So far this year Jin has typically given up runs early and often. In Monday night’s game, he only gave up a second inning run off a sac fly by Joe Panik who sent Brandon Crawford home. Matt Cain one upped him though, pitching six scoreless innings. The Giants held their breath when he was hit by a ball in his foot during the sixth inning, but that proved to be irrelevant as it was tightness in his right-hamstring that sent him home early. His win was his first against the Dodgers since 2013, and it helped his team snap a four game losing streak.
“We feel like as a staff if we can get some things going in the right direction, we can try to get the momentum on our side,” Cain said.
Despite being down the whole game, the Dodgers had their chances. Chris Taylor delivered their first run of the game in the eighth inning when he sent Chase Utley home on a fielders choice. With Corey Seager stepping to the plate, Taylor was thrown out after attempting to steal second base and the inning ended. In the ninth inning, Justin Turner, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games, made a crucial mistake by getting caught off second base and he was thrown out to end the game. Giants catcher Buster Posey made some heads up plays that resulted in Dave Roberts team coming up short.
“These are two winning teams in recent years,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “Yeah, we’re both under .500. But those guys aren’t going to quit, we certainly aren’t, there was a lot of focus tonight. You even see the excitement from [Giants closer] Mark Melancon, like an exhale. It was a big game for them and a tough one for us.”
As if there wasn’t enough fuel to this heated rivalry, Sergio Romo, who played his first 9 years with the Giants, made his first return to San Francisco in a Dodger uniform. He pitched during the eighth inning as some fans yelled out “Beat Ro-mo.” He took it all in stride.
“For me, it’s a homecoming, it really is,” he said, sitting in the Dodgers dugout before the game. He added, of the rivalry, “It’s on, it’s on, it’s on.”
The Dodgers and Giants play again on Tuesday, April 25, with Clayton Kershaw (3-1, 2.54 ERA) set to take the mound. He usually squares off with Madison Bumgarner, but due to a bruised rib and sprained left shoulder, Ty Blach will be making his first start of the season in place of Bumgarner. The Dodgers, who went 2-8 in AT&T park last season, will be looking to break a six game losing streak there.