LOS ANGELES (AP) — Skip Schumaker's first career home run at Dodger Stadium couldn't have come at a more opportune time, especially now that he's playing for the home team.
Schumaker hit a tiebreaking two-run shot off longtime NL West rival Bronson Arroyo while filling in for the ailing Carl Crawford, Hyun-Jin Ryu gave up two hits over seven innings and retired his last 13 batters, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 Saturday night.
"I grew up in L.A. going to Dodger games, so I've always thought about hitting a home run in Dodger Stadium — and actually doing it is pretty incredible," Schumaker said. "It's kind of a surreal feeling. I get lucky every now and then. Every 200 at-bats or so, I run into one."
Ryu (9-3) had nine strikeouts, all in a span of 13 batters. The first came against Joey Votto, who took a called third strike after Chris Heisey hit his first triple of the season with two out in the third. Cincinnati's run came on a homer by Jay Bruce in the second.
The Dodgers increased their NL West lead to 1 1/2 games over Arizona.
Ryu faced South Korean countryman Shin-Soo Choo for the first time in the major leagues. The Reds' center fielder walked, grounded out to first base and struck out.
"I'm sure Choo was on his mind," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "I mean, it's a big deal. Choo is one of his best friends and one of his baseball idols. So with him facing him in America in an atmosphere like this, and also playing in front of a huge TV audience back in Korea, it's pretty neat to know you're a part of that. It was really cool to see those guys match up. You could hear the crowd on every pitch and every swing."
Kenley Jansen got the last three outs for his 14th save.
Crawford, who singled his first three times up in the Dodgers' 2-1 victory Friday night and then made a brief visit to an emergency room on Saturday to get checked on for a high temperature and fever, was held out of the lineup. Manager Don Mattingly replaced him with Schumaker, who came in with more plate appearances (53) and hits (18) against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo than anyone else on Los Angeles' roster.
"It's a good feeling when you have a situation like today where Carl wasn't able to play and Skip can step in and be a more than capable guy," Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. "He's a great veteran who battles every at-bat. That's what this team is built upon — experience on the bench, experience on the field. And hopefully we'll take that all the way through."
Schumaker came through in the fifth, driving Arroyo's 1-0 pitch to center field for his second home run of the season and a 3-1 Dodgers lead after a leadoff single by Mark Ellis.
"If you look at the numbers, it says I have some hits off him. But a lot of those were bloop hits, lucky hits, and not too many were squared up," said Schumaker, who also doubled in the seventh inning and scored the Dodgers' fourth run on a two-out single by Gonzalez.
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