Los Angeles Dodgers' Ryu Hyun-jin seems to be losing his grip on the Cy Young Award.
The South Korean left-hander got rocked by the New York Yankees to the tune of three homers and seven earned runs in 4 1/3 innings at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Friday (local time). The Dodgers lost 10-2 as Ryu suffered his second straight loss and dropped to 12-4 for the season. He hadn't lost consecutive starts since Sept. 5 and 11 last year.
Ryu entered the game with a major league-best 1.64 ERA, but it has now risen to 2.00. It's still the best mark in baseball, but Ryu's highest since May 7.
Ryu struck out seven and walked one, while 63 of his 90 pitches went for strikes.
Ryu was roughed up in his previous start against the Atlanta Braves, serving up back-to-back home runs for his third multi-homer game of the season and suffering his first loss in nearly two months.
He was even worse against the Yankees, as the three home runs and seven runs both matched his season highs and his bid to become the first South Korean winner of the Cy Young Award took a beating as well.
The biggest blow came in the form of a grand slam by Didi Gregorius in the five-run fifth.
The Yankees came into the contest as the No. 2 team in baseball in dingers with 232 and third best on-base plus slugging percentage with .831.
Ryu struck out two batters in the scoreless first inning but got into a jam in the next inning after an error and a double put men at second and third with nobody out.
Ryu got Brett Gardner to fly out to left and then struck out the next two batters to foil the Yankees' first rally of the game.
But the Yankees solved Ryu with two long balls in the top of the third, First, Aaron Judge took him deep over the left-center field wall for a solo shot and a 1-0 New York lead.
Two batters later, Gary Sanchez also hit a solo home run for a 2-0 advantage. Ryu hadn't given up more than two runs in consecutive starts since April.
The Dodgers got a run back in the bottom third on A.J. Pollock's RBI single, but the Yankees put up a five-spot in the fifth.
Ryu gave up two straight singles to start the inning. After a groundout, Ryu intentionally walked Sanchez to load the bases and bring the double play into the equation against the left-handed batting Gregorius.
But Gregorious ambushed Ryu on the first-pitch fastball and drove it over the right-center field wall for the slam.
Ryu gave up a double to Gio Urshela and was relieved by Adam Kolarek with the Yankees leading 6-1. Gardner greeted the new pitcher with an RBI double, and Urshela's run was charged to Ryu.
The Yankees added a run each in the sixth, eighth and the ninth, while the Dodgers managed just one more run in the seventh in the rout.
Ryu pitched wearing a special uniform bearing his name in Korean, as part of Major League Baseball's Players Weekend activities allowing players to wear their nicknames on the back. (Yonhap)