Hyun Jin Ryu, Blue Jays seek fifth straight win vs. Braves

MLB

The visiting Toronto Blue Jays will send their ace to the mound on Wednesday in hopes of continuing their dominance of the Atlanta Braves.

Hyun Jin Ryu (2-2, 3.31 ERA) will face Atlanta’s Max Fried in a battle of left-handers, as the Blue Jays seek their fifth straight win over the Braves. Toronto opened the three-game series with a 5-3 come-from-behind victory on Tuesday. The Blue Jays swept three games from the Braves on April 30-May 2 in Dunedin, Fla.

Ryu earned a victory in his last start at Oakland on May 6. He allowed four runs on six hits, one walk and six strikeouts in five innings. Ryu was the beneficiary of generous run support, as the Jays scored 10 times in his first outing since coming off the injured list with a strained glute.

Ryu will make his seventh start of the season. He is 2-2 with a 2.37 ERA in six career starts against the Braves. He faced Atlanta one time last season and threw five scoreless innings, allowing one hit, three walks and finishing with eight strikeouts.

Fried (1-1, 8.44) returned from the injured list with a right hamstring strain on May 5 and beat the Washington Nationals. He threw five innings and allowed one run on four hits, one walk and struck out six.

“That’s as good as his stuff has been all year,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “The breaking ball, sinker had good life, the fastball was coming out of the hand really good. It just looked more like Max.”

Fried made his only career start against the Blue Jays on Aug. 4, 2020, and gave up only one run in six innings.

Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guererro Jr. went 3-for-5 in the series opener and is hitting .281 (9-for-32) on the road trip. Guererro hit his eighth home run to end a drought that extended back to April 27, when he launched three homers against the Washington Nationals.

The Blue Jays came from behind with a three-run rally in the eighth against the Atlanta bullpen and improved to 15-2 when they score five or more runs.

“This team can hit, and it’s fun to watch when they break out like that and we had that huge inning,” said Toronto’s Robbie Ray. “The name of the game is keeping it close enough to where you know the bats will come through. We’ve got some heavy hitters on this team.”

The Braves scored one run in the first inning on Tuesday and lead the major leagues with 32 first-inning runs, two more than the Phillies. Atlanta had only 32 first-inning runs in 60 games last season.

Both teams made roster moves to help their bullpen.

The Blue Jays optioned right-hander Nate Pearson, who made his first start on Sunday, to Triple-A and recalled right-hander Jeremy Beasley. The Braves, who recalled Bryse Wilson on Tuesday to make the start, claimed right-hander Jay Flaa off waivers from Baltimore, optioned right-handers Victor Arano and Jasseel De La Cruz to Triple-A, released right-hander Nate Jones and lost right-hander Carl Edwards Jr., who chose to be a free agent rather than report to Triple-A.

–Field Level Media

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