Hyun-Jin Ryu sharp, Joc Pederson homers in Dodgers' 1-0 win over Padres

Joc Pederson's ninth inning homer gives Dodgers 1-0 win over the Padres

Spring training can be a delicate dance, trying to get ready for the season while paying close attention when the body barks and says it might be best to back off a tad.

The Dodgers went the cautious route with left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu when his back flared, an approach more easily assumed during the early days of spring. It looked like a particularly wise move Thursday when he made his first appearance of the spring.

Ryu started against the Padres and threw two perfect innings, as the Dodgers edged the Padres, 1-0, on a Joc Pederson home run in the ninth at Peoria Stadium.

Ryu was unusually sharp for a first outing, throwing 22 strikes in his 30 pitches. In addition to not giving up a hit or walking a batter, he struck out two.

He also got Matt Kemp on a comebacker in the first inning, starting an 0-for-3 night for Kemp in his first meeting against the Dodgers since his trade to San Diego.

The rest of the Dodgers’ pitchers pretty much followed Ryu’s lead. Sergio Santos, looking like someone who expects to make the club, threw one perfect inning with two strikeouts.

Mike Bolsinger, one of those trying to jump to the front of the first-man-in when someone in the rotation is injured, threw two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, did not walk a batter and struck out one. Adam Liberatore was next and threw another clean inning. Josh Ravin followed with another perfect inning, which included a strikeout of Kemp.

The Padres finally got a second hit in the eighth inning off Ryan Buchner, but the left-hander got Will Middlebrooks to bounce into a double play to hang up another zero on the scoreboard.

Trouble was, the Dodgers weren’t having any greater success with the Padres staff. James Shields, the pitcher San Diego signed for four years at $75 million in the off-season, threw three perfect innings with five strikeouts.

Carl Crawford managed an infield single for the Dodgers’ first hit in the fourth, but that was the only baserunner Matt Wisler allowed in his two innings.

Kevin Quankenbush, Nick Vincent and Shawn Kelly all threw scoreless innings for the Padres.

Finally with one out in the ninth, Pederson connected on a line-drive home run off Jose Valverde. It was the first of the spring for Pederson.

Chad Gaudin completed the seven-pitcher shutout by throwing a scoreless ninth for the Dodgers. All he did was strike out the side.

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