Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu is headed back to the injured list with a case of neck soreness, the Dodgers announced Friday. The assignment is retroactive to August 1. In a series of corresponding roster moves, right-handed pitchers Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin will be brought up from Triple-A Oklahoma City, while fellow righty Dylan Floro has been optioned to Triple-A and lefty Scott Alexander has been shifted to the 60- day injured list with an ongoing bout of left forearm inflammation.
It’s the second IL stint of the year for Ryu, who delivered six shutout innings for the club during his last start on Wednesday. He also battled a left groin strain in mid-April, but made a quick and successful recovery following his return at the end of the month.
Through Wednesday’s start, the lefty is nearing some career-high marks with an 11-2 record in 21 starts and a league-leading 1.53 ERA, 1.1 BB/9, 7.8 SO/9, and 3.9 fWAR through 135 2/3 innings. Given the nature of his injury and his recent results on the mound, it’s difficult to believe he’ll be laid up for longer than the requisite 10-day minimum; according to comments he gave the press on Friday, he doesn’t believe he’ll require a rehab start, either.
Without Ryu, the Dodgers will give some starts over to top prospect Dustin May, who is poised to make his MLB debut against the Padres on Friday. The 21-year-old right-hander was ranked no. 2 in the Dodgers’ system by MLB.com and no. 35 overall. In back-to-back stints with Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, he produced a combined 6-5 record in 20 starts with a 3.38 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 9.3 SO/9 across 106 2/3 innings.
The Yankees defeated the Astros 4-1 during Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night, staving off a potential postseason elimination and forcing the series to at least six games.
In just the third playoff appearance of his career, Yankees southpaw James Paxton turned in another impressive performance, limiting the Astros to four hits and four walks over six innings of one-run ball. According to MLB Stats, his nine strikeouts made him the second Yankees lefty to record multiple starts of 8+ strikeouts in the same postseason campaign, two decades after David Wells did so for the 1998 championship-winning club.
Paxton’s strong outing was backed by a handful of runs from DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks, both of whom went deep against Astros ace Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first inning. LeMahieu’s leadoff solo shot marked his first postseason home run since Game 1 of the ALDS, while Hicks’ three-run 347-footer was his first home run of any variety since July 24 (and his first in the playoffs since the 2017 ALDS).
Neither team managed a single run after the first inning, leaving the two pitching staffs to duke it out for eight quick innings. Verlander outlasted Paxton — taking the game through the seventh with five hits, four runs, and nine strikeouts — but even with a flawless contribution from Brad Peacock in the eighth, there was little the hurlers could do to help the Astros solve Paxton and an airtight Yankees bullpen.
With the win, the Yankees will try to push the series to a full seven games in order to snatch the AL pennant from the Astros. They’ll have to do in Houston, however, as the Astros will regain home field advantage when Game 6 kicks off on Saturday at 8:08 PM EDT. Neither starter has been announced yet; per Houston skipper A.J. Hinch, it will likely be a bullpen day.