If on Sunday Josh Beckett came up with the incredible, on Monday Hyun-Jin Ryu threatened to answer with the unbelievable.
One day after Beckett threw the 21st no-hitter in Dodgers’ history, Ryu took a perfect game into the eighth inning.
After spending the bottom of the seventh running the bases, he gave up a double to the first batter he faced – Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier – and history slipped away.
The Dodgers ultimately had to hang on for a 4-3 victory over the Reds before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 45,505.
In only his second start since coming off the disabled list with a sore shoulder, Ryu (5-2) gave up three hits, all in the eighth, in his 7 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
By the time Frazier collected his double, the Dodgers had thrown 17 consecutive hitless innings, a Los Angeles Dodgers record.
Throwing particularly hard for him, Ryu hit 94 mph several times on the stadium radar gun and quickly went through the Cincinnati lineup over the first seven innings while clinging to a 1-0 lead.
The Dodgers, however, scored three times in the bottom of the seventh and Ryu was again involved in the action.
Justin Turner, who had made two diving stops to keep Ryu perfect early, led off the seventh with a 16-pitch walk. Erisbel Arruebarrena doubled him to third. With the infield in, Ryu sent a bouncer that shortstop Zack Cozart cut off before mishandling it for an error as Turner scored.
Manny Parra relieved Reds starter Johnny Cueto, and Dee Gordon hit a bouncer to third baseman Ramon Santiago, who fired home to get Arruebarrena as Ryu took second. Carl Crawford doubled to score both Ryu and Gordon.
Running to score from second might have taken something out of Ryu. Frazier led off the eighth and hit a clean double to left on the second pitch he saw. Ryan Ludwick singled him to third and Chris Heisey’s sacrifice fly to right brought in Frazier.
Brayan Pena then singled, prompting Manager Don Mattingly to pull Ryu. He threw 95 pitches, 66 for strikes.
Mattingly called on the highly inconsistent Brian Wilson to take over for Ryu and it almost cost the game for the Dodgers. Wilson picked up a quick strikeout but then walked ex-Dodger Skip Schumaker and gave up a two-run double to rookie Billy Hamilton.
Yasiel Puig cut off the drive and hurried his throw to the infield, but it was enough for the Reds to hold Schumaker with the tying run at third. When Wilson walked Cozart to load the bases, Mattingly went to closer Kenley Jansen, who responded by striking out Brandon Phillips.
Jansen put two on but held the Reds scoreless in the ninth to pick up his 15th save.
The Dodgers scratched out their first run in the third. Drew Butera singled to right, and with one out was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Ryu. Dee Gordon sent a sharp bouncer to Frazier at first. He took a couple steps, put his glove down and saw the ball go under and away for an error as Butera hustled home.