ST. LOUIS — With the series at a tipping point, the Dodgers turned to Hyun-Jin Ryu. The lefty hadn’t thrown in a game since September 12, when he went down with shoulder inflammation.
In a move announced Monday, Don Mattingly decided to go with Clayton Kershaw in Game 4. That shuffle moved starter Dan Haren into long relief status, a logical move with Ryu’s sharpness and longevity being a question mark following his injury.
He rebounded with a tremendous start, going six innings and allowing five hits and a lone run in 94 pitches. He walked one and struck out 4, muting everyone in the Cardinal lineup except Matt Carpenter who hit a solo shot for his third homer in as many games in the third inning.
He worked out of a jam in the second when the Birds had men at the corners, getting a double play to escape, and apart from the solo shot, never had trouble again.
He was pinch hit for in the seventh inning, and promptly watched his efforts go to waste in the bottom half. Scott Elbert came on to relieve, but Kolten Wong took the lead for the Cards with a 407-foot blast to right, scoring Yadier Molina who doubled to begin the inning. It was the third home run the LA bullpen has allowed this series.