Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven shutout innings and three Los Angeles Dodgers homered in a 6-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves Thursday in Game 1 of a National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium.
Ryu allowed four hits, struck out eight, didn’t walk a batter and allowed just one runner past first in his first postseason appearance since Game 3 of a 2013 NLDS.
Game 2 of the best-of-five series will be played Friday, also at Dodger Stadium.
Rookie left-hander Caleb Ferguson pitched a perfect eighth, striking out two.
Right-hander Dylan Floro induced Ozzie Albies, the only batter he faced, to end the game after left-hander Alex Wood allowed two-out singles to Nick Markakis and Tyler Flores in the ninth.
Joc Pederson homered leading off the bottom of the first inning, fouling off the first two pitches from right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, then hitting the third over the fence in right-center field.
The Dodgers loaded the bases later in the first. Justin Turner followed Pederson’s homer with a double and Max Muncy walked. Cody Bellinger walked two outs later, but Foltynewicz struck out Yasiel Puig to end the inning.
Max Muncy hit a three-run homer with two outs in the second, driving in Pederson, who was hit by a pitch, and Justin Turner, who walked.
Kike Hernandez hit a solo homer off reliever Brad Brach in the sixth.
A sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter drove in Puig in the eighth. Puig singled with one out and moved to third on a wild pickoff throw by reliever Chad Sobotka.
Foltynewicz was charged with the loss, allowing four runs and three hits, striking out five, walking three and hitting a batter in two innings.
Clayton Kershaw was the Dodgers’ starting pitcher to open the postseason each of the past five seasons, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the decision to have Ryu start Game 1 and Kershaw Game 2 “was more of just trying to appreciate that both games have equal importance, and what we can do to put both pitchers in the best position to succeed.”
“When you look at it and giving each guy one extra day of rest as opposed to Hyun-Jin and Clayton on regular rest and then you look at Game 3, Walker (Buehler) on an extra day, made more sense to us,” Roberts said.
Ryu’s seven-inning stint matched the longest by a Dodgers starter during the 2017 postseason. In their 15 2017 postseason games, Dodgers starters pitched at least six innings four times, including three times by Kershaw.
Statistics indicate pitchers are less effective the third time they face the opposing lineup.