Hyun-jin Ryu tossed seven scoreless innings in his second career playoff start to lift the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.
Early innings had not been kind to the Dodgers' rookie hurler prior to his start against the NL Central champions. Ryu posted a 5.10 ERA in the first inning of his starts during the regular season before surrendering a pair of runs in the opening frame against the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the NLDS on Oct. 6.
That wasn't the case for the 26-year-old native of South Korea at Dodger Stadium on Monday. Ryu worked around a one-out walk to Carlos Beltran in the first inning and proceeded to retire 11 consecutive batters before David Freese led off the fifth inning with a single. Ryu allowed another hit before working out of a jam in the fifth and went two more scoreless innings before giving way to the Dodgers bullpen after the seventh.
Ryu gave up three hits and a walk while striking out four.
The Dodgers got on the board with a pair of runs in a fourth inning highlighted by Yasiel Puig's RBI triple over the head of Beltran. Puig cruised into third without a play despite celebrating all the way to first base under the assumption that he hit the ball well enough for it to travel over the right-field wall.
Puig finished 2-for-3 at the plate, ending his 0-for-10 skid to begin the series.
Los Angeles added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Carl Crawford avoided Yadier Molina's tag at the plate after Hanley Ramirez blooped a broken-bat single into shallow center field.
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright allowed six hits in seven innings, but four of those went for extra bases. In addition to Puig's triple, Mark Ellis and Adrian Gonzalez both doubled in the pivotal fourth inning.
Wainwright struck out five and induced 11 groundouts. Despite his commendable performance, the Cardinals' ace was saddled with his first career postseason loss.