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Dodgers doing fine when Ryu pitches

There aren’t a lot of things going right for the Los Angeles Dodgers these days, but at least they can count on Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

RyuRyu won his fourth straight decision and continued to be dominant on the road in beating the Colorado Rockies on Friday.

Ryu is now 7-2 with a 3.08 ERA overall and 5-0, with four earned runs allowed in 38 innings on the road this season. He’s the first Dodgers pitcher to win his first five road decisions in a season since Chad Billingsley in 2007. The last Dodgers pitcher with a longer streak was Kaz Ishii, who started 6-0 on the road to begin his career in 2002.

The road success actually dates back to the end of last season. Over his last 11 road starts, he has a 1.49 ERA.

This game was a little different for Ryu in that he did a couple of things he hasn’t done often this season. One was allowing a home run. He’d only yielded two in 10 starts this season. The other was that he only had two strikeouts, to go with his two walks. Entering Friday, Ryu had a strikeout-to-walk rate of better than 4 to 1.

Key to Friday’s win: The changeup

The best thing for Ryu on Friday was that he had a good changeup going. Right-handed hitters were 10 for 20 against that pitch in his last four starts, but he threw 12 of 15 for strikes against the Rockies, inducing five outs while yielding only two base hits.

Getting that pitch back to form could be a key moving forward for Ryu. Opponents hit only .175 against it last season.

A little help

Ryu was helped by a three-hit, two-triple, three-RBI game from Dee Gordon, who is now 5 for 8 in his last two games (one of the runners he drove in on Friday was Ryu). Gordon is the first Dodgers player to hit that combination of numbers in a game since another second baseman, Steve Sax, in 1982.

Looking ahead

Ryu’s next start will be on the road against the Cincinnati Reds. He’s had success in two starts against them, allowing four earned runs in 14 1/3 innings, with 16 strikeouts and one walk.