LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers began the season Down Under in Australia. They've arrived at the All-Star break on top of the NL West.
Hyun-Jin Ryu struck out 10 and outpitched first-time All-Star Tyson Ross, Yasiel Puig singled home the only run and Los Angeles beat the San Diego Padres 1-0 on Sunday.
A day after beating the Padres 1-0, the Dodgers did it again to take a one-game lead over San Francisco in the division race. They have overcome a 9 1/2-game deficit for the second year in a row despite numerous injuries.
"I think it's a testament to the work that our front office has done, gathering this group of people," said A.J. Ellis, who hit a winning sacrifice fly in the ninth Saturday night.
"I think everybody knows from last year's experience that it takes more than 25 guys to get where you want to go. And it's about having the right people in those spots."
"We kind of knew that this would all turn around and that the people in this room were capable of it. So we never lost that confidence, and I think we did a good job of sticking together," he said.
Puig was ejected Saturday night for arguing a called third strike. He struck out his first two times up Sunday, then hit an RBI single in the sixth inning after Dee Gordon singled and stole his major league-leading 43rd base.
Ryu (10-5) gave up two hits in six innings without a walk. The left-hander retired his first 11 batters and allowed only one hit through the first five innings, a two-out single in the fourth by Carlos Quentin. The Padres' only other hit against him was a leadoff single through the box by Alexi Amarista in the sixth.
"He had everything working from the get-go, all four pitches," Ellis said. "He used both of his breaking balls so effectively, and this was as strong a slider as I've seen him throw this season."
J.P. Howell relieved Brandon League in the seventh with runners at first and second and retired Brooks Conrad on a lineout.
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