Toronto Blue Jays starter Ryu Hyun-jin has suffered his second loss of the season, getting undone by a long ball against the worst team in Major League Baseball (MLB).
Ryu gave up two runs on five hits in five innings against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland on Wednesday (local time). All of the damage against the South Korean left-hander came via a two-run shot by Carlos Perez in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Pitching on four days' rest for the first time this season, Ryu left the game with the Blue Jays trailing 2-1, and they lost 5-2, as their three-game winning streak came to a halt.
Ryu, who struck out five and walked one, fell to 3-2 for the season, and his ERA went up from 2.48 to 2.65. He threw 50 of his 77 pitches for strikes.
In seven starts since returning from last year's Tommy John surgery, Ryu has not yet gone longer than five innings or thrown more than 86 pitches.
The Athletics came into this game with the worst record in MLB at 42-97, having dropped the first two games of this series against the Blue Jays.
Ryu was in fine form early, as he retired the first seven batters he faced. He then pitched around a one-out single by Nick Allen in the bottom of the third.
Allen stole second base with two outs -- the first steal on Ryu by any opponent since August 2021 -- but he was stranded there when Ryu struck out Zack Gelof to end the inning.
The Blue Jays spotted Ryu a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, but Ryu squandered that advantage in the fourth with Perez's go-ahead home run.
With two outs and a runner at first, Ryu threw a down-and-in fastball on Perez, who drove the 90.5 mph pitch 410 feet over the left field wall and put the Athletics ahead 2-1.
It was the fifth homer served up by Ryu this season, four of which have come in his past three starts.
The Athletics kept the inning going with a single and a walk, before Ryu escaped the jam with a fielder's choice groundout off the bat of Allen.
The Blue Jays couldn't get their bats going against Ryu's counterpart, JP Sears, and Ryu worked a nervy fifth inning to keep it a one-run game.
Esteury Ruiz led off the fifth with a single and went on to steal second and third bases, though Ryu stranded the speedy runner at third with a pair of strikeouts and a flyout.
The A's swiped three bags on Ryu, who had never allowed more than two steals in any of his previous nine MLB seasons.
Trevor Richards took over from Ryu to begin the sixth and promptly served up a three-run homer to Kevin Smith that put the Blue Jays in a 5-1 hole.
The Jays got a run back on Davis Schneider's solo shot in the eighth but couldn't get any closer.
With his usual catcher, Danny Jansen, out with a fractured finger, Ryu pitched to Tyler Heineman for the first time.
Source: Yonhap News Agency