Toronto Blue Jays starter Ryu Hyun-jin has dropped his second straight start, despite throwing a season-high six innings in a crucial game against a rival club.
Ryu gave up three runs on five hits in six innings in a 6-3 loss to the Texas Rangers at Rogers Centre in Toronto on Tuesday (local time). It was Ryu's longest outing of the season since his return from Tommy John surgery on Aug. 1.
Ryu, who struck out five and walked one, didn't get any run support, as his counterpart, three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, stymied the Blue Jays for 5 1/3 shutout innings before leaving the game with triceps problems.
Ryu fell to 3-3 for the season, and his ERA went up from 2.65 to 2.93.
Ryu held the Rangers hitless through the first three innings, getting some soft contact with an effective mix of five pitches: fastball, changeup, cutter, curveball and sinker.
But the Rangers broke the ice in a big way in the top of the fourth.
Corey Seager led off the frame with a single off a first-pitch cutter, and then Robbie Grossman homered by also swinging on the first pitch, another cutter.
It was the sixth homer given up by Ryu this season and the fifth in the last four starts.
And those two swings did most of the damage against Ryu, who gave up the third run on a sacrifice fly by Jonah Heim in the sixth inning. That inning began with a double by Seager, a former teammate of Ryu's with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This was the third time this year that Ryu pitched into the sixth inning and the first time he completed that frame. He finished with 82 pitches, 59 of them for strikes.
Against the Blue Jays bullpen, the Rangers tacked on two more runs in the seventh and another in the ninth. The Blue Jays scored an ultimately inconsequential run in the ninth.
The Blue Jays have now lost the first two games of this crucial four-game series with major postseason implications.
The loss temporarily dropped the Blue Jays to third place in the American League Wild Card race at 80-65, a half-game back of the Rangers (80-64). The Seattle Mariners began the day in fourth place of the race at 79-65.
Source: Yonhap News Agency