Blue Jays bounce back against Atlanta as Ryu, pen allow just 3 hits in close win

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Hyun-Jin Ryu combined with four relievers on a three-hitter and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the shorthanded Atlanta Braves 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Ryu lasted only five innings but was dominant as he gave up only one hit, an infield single by Adam Duvall in the second.

Duvall homered in the seventh off Thomas Hatch.

Anthony Bass issued a one-out walk in the ninth to Marcell Ozuna, who moved to second on Travis d’Arnaud’s single to left field. Duvall hit into a double play to end the game as Bass earned his second save.

Ryu (1-1) struck out eight as he showed the form that produced a majors-leading 2.32 ERA for the Dodgers in 2019. The left-hander from South Korea had an 8.00 ERA in his first two starts for Toronto.

“I wish this win would have come a lot earlier,” Ryu said through a translator. “I guess the third time is the charm. I hope this sets me up for future success.”

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Ryu signed a four-year, $80 million US contract with the Blue Jays in December. The strong start helped the Blue Jays end a three-game losing streak.

“That’s the guy we were expecting, changing speeds, keeping hitters off balance,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “That’s a great sign for us, that he pitched like that, and a boost for us.”

The Braves were forced to recast their lineup after placing Ozzie Albies and Matt Adams on the injured list and giving Freddie Freeman a day off.

The new-look lineup, which included Charlie Culberson at second base and Austin Riley at first base, didn’t resemble the unit which had 13 hits in a 10-1 win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

Toronto took a 1-0 lead in the second when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doubled just beyond Ender Inciarte’s leaping attempt at a catch at the centre-field wall. Guerrero scored from third on Danny Jansen’s fly ball to right field.

Bo Bichette singled, stole second and scored on Cavan Biggio’s single in the fifth. The run-scoring hit by Biggio knocked Sean Newcomb (0-1) out of the game after the left-hander allowed five hits and two runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Left-hander Ryan Borucki struck out Freeman, who was pinch-hitting for Riley, after Duvall’s homer. Right-hander Jordan Romano struck out Ronald Acuna Jr. to cap a perfect eighth.

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