ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Hyun-jin Ryu retired all 12 batters he faced in his final spring training start, combining with six relievers on a two-hitter, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Angels 3-0 Thursday night in the first of three straight exhibition games between the teams leading up to opening day.
The Angels didn't get their first baserunner until Alberto Callaspo greeted Matt Guerrier with a single to right field on a 1-0 pitch leading off the sixth. But he was stranded at second after winning pitcher Ronald Belisario relived Guerrier and retired Erick Aybar on a grounder to second.
The Angels' only other hit was a two-out single in the eighth by J.B. Shuck against Kenley Jansen. Brandon League pitched a perfect ninth for the save.
Ryu, a 25-year-old left-hander from South Korea who signed a $36 million, six-year contract with the Dodgers on Dec. 12 after they bid $25.7 million to win exclusive rights to negotiate with the 6-foot-1, 215-pound pitcher. He will become the first player to go directly from the Korean league to the major leagues when he makes his big league debut next week against the World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
Ryu was 2-2 during the exhibition schedule with a 3.29 ERA in six starts and one relief appearance. Last Saturday, he held the Chicago White Sox to one hit over seven innings in a 10-4 victory while retiring 17 of his last 18 batters.
Angels right-hander Joe Blanton scattered five hits over six scoreless innings and struck out four against his ex-teammates. The right-hander signed a $15 million, two-year contract with the Angels as a free agent the same day that Ryu signed with the Dodgers. Blanton made 10 starts for the Dodgers last season after they acquired him in a trade from Philadelphia on Aug. 3, and was 2-4 with a 4.99 ERA.
The Dodgers' best scoring chance against Blanton came in the second after singles by Juan Uribe and Justin Sellers, but Ryu tapped back to the pitcher. They finally broke through in the seventh against losing pitcher Mark Lowe with the game's first run after second baseman Howie Kendrick misplayed a tailor-made double-play grounder by Scott Van Slyke and had to settle for the out at first. One out later, Tim Federowicz singled home Uribe.
The Dodgers tacked on two more in the eighth against Austin Wood after Mark Ellis led off with a single. Matt Kemp drove him in with a triple down the right-field line and past a diving Shuck, and Andre Ethier followed with a sacrifice fly.
Due to Major League Baseball's realignment, which has shifted the Houston Astros to the AL after 51 seasons in the NL — thus giving each league 15 teams — the Dodgers will have only four interleague games against the Angels per season instead of six. They will all be played consecutively from May 27-30, the first two at Dodger Stadium.
NOTES: Tommy Lasorda, who just can't get managing out of his system at age 85, piloted a split squad of Dodgers in a 4-3 loss to their Class-A Rancho Cucamonga affiliate, which dedicated their clubhouse in his name. ... According to Forbes Magazine, the Dodgers have the second-highest value in Major League Baseball at $1.62 billion, and the Angels are ninth at $718 million. ... The Angels unveiled their new press box, which has been relocated from behind home plate to the right field club level. The objective was to build luxury suites where the media used to sit, creating more revenue for an organization whose opening-day payroll was reduced from $160 million to $148.5 million after OF Vernon Wells was traded to the injury-ravaged New York Yankees on Tuesday.