After a trip to Chicago that did not go quite as planned offensively, the Los Angeles Dodgers will return home Friday with the intention of getting their vaunted offense on track again against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Getting healthy again is exactly what the Pirates are thinking as well after another rough home series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Pirates dropped a 5-0 decision to the Diamondbacks on Thursday and have now lost 10 consecutive home games against the National League West foe.
The Dodgers will send Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound Friday as they try to distance themselves from the end of a road trip that saw them lose three of their last five games, even with Thursday's 2-1 victory over the Cubs. The Dodgers did not score on a base hit, getting their two runs on an error and a sacrifice fly.
Ryu (2-1, 3.10 ERA) returned from a strained left groin Saturday at Milwaukee, giving up two runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings, while throwing a season-high 92 pitches. Both of those runs came on Christian Yelich home runs.
Against everybody else who hasn't just won a NL MVP award, Ryu handled himself just fine, and now will take the mound at Dodger Stadium where he has been tough to beat. The left-hander not only was dominating at home while winning is first two starts of the season, he fashioned a 1.15 ERA over nine Dodger Stadium starts (54 2/3 innings) last year.
Admittedly cautious in his most recent outing, Ryu showed plenty to like, but he wasn't about to celebrate things after the two Yelich home runs. He said the first was Yelich being the dominating hitter he is. The second one, Ryu conceded, was a mistake curveball.
"One good takeaway from this outing is, I came out of it healthy," Ryu said through an interpreter after his Saturday outing.
Ryu not only knows about pitching at Dodger Stadium, he has a good idea about what it takes to defeat the Pirates. He is 4-0 in four career starts against Pittsburgh with a 2.49 ERA over 25 1/3 innings.
Pirates right-hander Chris Archer will also be making his second start after a return, although his time away was for a different reason. The right-hander recently served a five-game suspension for an early-season pitch that went behind the Cincinnati Reds' Derek Dietrich.
Archer (1-1, 2.74) gave up three runs on six hits over five innings Sunday, matching his shortest outing of the season in a 3-2 defeat to the San Francisco Giants. He threw a season-low 83 pitches, but it was just one of those pitches that hurt.
The Giants' Buster Posey hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning.
"I left a pitch down the middle to a good hitter," Archer said afterward. "I was trying to go in, get the ground ball for a double play. It just stayed in the middle, and he hit that one hard."
Archer has faced the Dodgers just once, in a 2016 outing at Dodger Stadium as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. He gave up just one earned run over seven innings in that game but took the loss.
The Dodgers, who won just one of the three games against the Cubs this week, entered Thursday leading the NL in runs scored with 144, but are now even with the Diamondbacks at 146.
--Field Level Media
Dodgers look to bounce back against Pirates
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