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Hyun-Jin Ryu pitches a gem, Dodgers defeat Braves 6-0 in NLDS Game 1

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Clayton Kershaw didn’t start Game 1 of the NLDS for the Dodgers. No problem. The Dodgers gave the nod to Hyun-Jin Ryu, who went out and twirled a gem against the Braves on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium as his team won 5-0, taking a 1-0 series lead.

Ryu was staked to a lead early as Joc Pederson led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run off of Mike Foltynewicz. Max Muncy tacked on a three-run homer in the second. That was more than enough offense. Enrique Hernández added a solo homer in the sixth off of Brad Brach to make it 5-0. David Freese knocked in one more run just for good measure in the eighth with a sacrifice fly.

Ryu pitched seven stress-free innings, yielding just four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts on 104 pitches. The most the Braves threatened was putting runners on first and second base with two outs in the fifth, but Ryu got out of that by getting Kurt Suzuki to fly out.

Fellow lefty Caleb Ferguson took over in the eighth, setting the Braves down in 1-2-3 fashion, getting Charlie Culberson to ground out, then fanning Lane Adams and Ronald Acuña. Staying with the lefty theme, manager Dave Roberts sent Alex Wood out to the mound for the ninth. He got Johan Camargo to fly out, then Freddie Freeman to strike out. The Braves still kept hope alive as Nick Markakis and Tyler Flowers both singled. Roberts came out and called on his first right-hander of the night, bringing in Dylan Floro. Floro got Ozzie Albies to ground out to end the game in a 6-0 victory.

Funnily enough, the Braves out-hit the Dodgers six to five. The Dodgers, however, out-walked the Braves eight to none.

The Dodgers and Braves return to the battlefield on Firday night with a 9:37 PM ET start, broadcast on FS1. Kershaw will oppose Aníbal Sánchez.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.