Matt Kamlet, CBSLA.com
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The closest thing to boos that was heard at Dodger stadium on Tuesday night was the enthusiastic call for Luis Cruz after his first homer of the season, as Hyun Jin Ryu threw a complete-game 2-hit shutout, and the Dodgers beat the Angels for the second night in a row, 3-0.
Matt Kemp stepped up to the plate in the second inning for his first at-bat of Tuesday’s game, and there were boos — but this time they were not directed toward Kemp.
Joe Blanton tried to brush Kemp off the plate with a 1-0 count, and ended up pegging the inside of his right elbow. Kemp could be seen leading off from first base literally trying to shake the pain from his arm before Juan Uribe grounded out to end the inning.
Ryu retaliated, but not by throwing at the Angels. The right-handed pitcher connected off Blanton to hit a deep ball to right. It went over the head of Mark Trumbo and off the wall, and the Dodgers’ first hit off the game was a one-out double by Hyun Jin Ryu.
However, Carl Crawford struck out swinging, and Mark Ellis grounded out. Another runner was left stranded in scoring position.
Ryu took a liner off the foot in the fourth inning by Trumbo, which he picked up and threw to first to retire the side, but he hesitated a moment before heading to the dugout, limping lightly on his left foot.
He was taken to the clubhouse by trainer Sue Falsone, but returned to the dugout later in the inning, with a mix of laughter and grimace on his face as he continued to limp.
Andre Ethier put himself in scoring position when slapped a line drive down the third base line for a one-out double in the fourth, giving Kemp an ideal opportunity to try and turn his slump around.
Kemp didn’t get a hit, but he just missed what would have been his first home run at Dodger Stadium this season. He got under the ball just enough to hit a towering fly ball to deep left center, which Mike Trout grabbed a step before the wall.
It was the loudest cheer Dodger fans gave for a fly out, and certainly the loudest Matt Kemp had heard in recent weeks. More than anything, the cheers were likely due to the fact that Kemp’s fly ball, although an out, had power, something he has lacked since July of last year.
Ethier moved to third, but A.J. Ellis struck out looking at a ball that appeared to be well out of the strike zone. Ellis shared some words with home plate Paul Emmel, who heard it from the Angels yesterday for the controversial Eric Aybar call at first base.
Uribe led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single to right, and Luis Cruz, who has been as cold all season as Matt Kemp has been for a week, hammered a ball into the left field bleachers for a 2-run shot — his first home run of the year.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Matt Kemp officially ended his batting slump, when he smacked a ball into left and stretched it into a double with one out. It was his tenth double of the season.
Kemp was brought in to score when A.J. Ellis lined an RBI single into right field to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Ellis was caught between first and second and was tagged for the out, but it was well worth the sight of Matt Kemp getting high-fives in the dugout.
Hyun Jin Ryu was outstanding through all nine frames. Ryu, who retired 19 consecutive batters at one point, gave up just two hits and struck out seven, giving up no walks, for his first career complete game in the majors, and his first career win against an American League club.
Ryu’s six wins lead all rookie pitchers in the majors.
The Freeway Series now moves down to Anaheim where the Angels will host the Dodgers for the second half of the series at Angel Stadium, where Matt Kemp will hope to give the crowd a reason to boo him.