LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hyun-Jin Ryu has been dominant for the Dodgers since the start of last season. His latest gem nearly topped them all.
The left-hander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and Corey Seager hit a grand slam as Los Angeles blanked the Washington Nationals 6-0 on Sunday to split a four-game series that featured three shutouts.
Gerardo Parra doubled with one out in the eighth for Washington’s only hit.
“The past couple games I have been in a good rhythm,” Ryu said through a translator. “I just try to use their weakness, be aggressive and attack the zone. I don’t think about having no-hit stuff. It was about executing the game plan.”
Ryu (5-1) struck out nine in eight innings and threw a career-high 116 pitches, 79 for strikes. He fired a four-hit shutout in his previous start Tuesday against Atlanta.
It was the second time Ryu carried a no-hitter into the eighth at Dodger Stadium. He held Cincinnati hitless in 2014 until Todd Frazier led off the eighth with a double.
“To watch him work as a technician, it was masterful. He wasn’t stressed at all,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Ryu has tossed 25 straight scoreless innings and is 12-4 with a major league-leading 1.71 ERA since April 10, 2018. Opponents are batting .205 against him during that span.
As stingy as those numbers are, Ryu is even better at Dodger Stadium — going 7-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his last seven home starts.
Seager, who drove in five runs, said he tried not to think about Ryu possibly closing in on a no-hitter, but it started to creep into his mind in the latter innings.
“Regardless, he was really special. Command, speed changes — he mixed it up and those guys were off balance,” Seager said.
Parra, who signed with Washington on Thursday, played Dodgers spoiler again. After hitting a grand slam Saturday night, he broke up Ryu’s no-hit bid a day later. Parra drove Ryu’s 105th pitch deep to left-center, where it bounced on the warning track and over the wall for a ground-rule double that ended up being Washington’s only hit of the day.
Besides that, the lone Nationals baserunner was Brian Dozier, who walked with one out in the fourth. That was Ryu’s first walk at home in 59 1/3 innings.
“He used both sides of the plate and we couldn’t get anything going,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said.
Seager broke the game open in the eighth with his second career slam on a fastball from Kyle Barraclough. Seager also had a sacrifice fly in the second that scored Cody Bellinger with the first run.
Stephen Strasburg (3-3) didn’t allow a hit until Justin Turner singled with one out in the fourth. He scored on Alex Verdugo’s grounder.
The right-hander yielded two runs and four hits in six innings. He struck out seven, marking the eighth time in nine starts this season he has fanned seven or more.
Bellinger backed Ryu with an outstanding defensive play that preserved the no-hit bid in the sixth. Strasburg appeared to hit a line-drive single to right field, but Bellinger grabbed the ball on one hop and fired to first base in time to get Strasburg.
“I was just playing really shallow with Strasburg hitting. If there was a line drive at me, I was going to try to get one just because that’s the only opportunity you have usually, with the pitcher. It’s the perfect opportunity for it,” Bellinger said.
Washington challenged the call, but it stood after a replay review. Bellinger said when he originally watched the replay on the scoreboard, he thought Strasburg was safe.
The Nationals have not been no-hit since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005, a span of 2,306 games. The last no-hitter against the club came on July 18, 1999, when David Cone pitched a perfect game for the Yankees against the Expos.
Bellinger had three hits to raise his NL-leading batting average to .407. It was his 18th multihit game of the season.
Bellinger is the first Dodgers player to carry a .400 batting average through 173 plate appearances in a season since Jackie Robinson in 1951. Robinson was at .400 through 190 plate appearances.
Nationals: INF Howie Kendrick was kept out of the lineup due to a stiff neck that has bothered him the past couple of days. ... SS Trea Turner (broken right index finger) did some light tossing before the game, but there is no timetable for his return.
Dodgers: LHP Scott Alexander has been dealing with a sore left hip. He faced one batter Saturday and allowed a hit.
Nationals: Start a six-game homestand Tuesday against the NL East rival Mets. RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-1, 5.52 ERA) went 1-0 in two starts versus New York last season.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 3.31 ERA) makes his 36th career start Tuesday against San Diego to open a two-game series.