History denied: Hyun-Jin Ryu loses perfect game in eighth, ending Dodgers' bid for back-to-back no-hitters

Mike Oz

Never before in MLB had a team thrown no-hitters in back-to-back games. The Los Angeles Dodgers had baseball historians on watch Monday, as Hyun-Jin Ryu took a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds, a day after teammate Josh Beckett threw a no-hitter.

History would have to wait for another day, however, because Todd Frazier led off the eighth inning for the Reds by doubling down the left field line, breaking up the perfect game and the Dodgers' bid for the no-hit history books. The team finished with 17 straight hitless innings going back to Saturday, an impressive feat in its own right.

Ryu was breezing along on the mound through seven innings — he had 82 pitches and seven strikeouts. Perhaps what shook his rhythm was the bottom of the seventh when the Dodgers sent eight hitters to the plate. Ryu himself had an RBI and scored a run in the seventh as the Dodgers put three on the scoreboard. It was necessary, as the Dodgers were clutching a 1-0 lead at that point, but it was also the biggest disruption of the night for Ryu's pacing.

[Photos: Relive Ryu’s big night]

Had Ryu pulled off the perfect game, it would have been the second in Dodgers history. Sandy Koufax threw one in 1965. It also would have been the 24th in MLB history.

The only team to achieve something close to consecutive no-hitters was the 1917 St. Louis Browns, who threw no-hitters on consecutive days. However, there was a game in between, as the second no-hitter came in Game 2 of a doubleheader.

By the end of the eighth inning Monday night, there was a different type of drama in the Reds-Dodgers game — the Dodgers were still hoping to hang to a win, because Frazier's double sparked a three-run rally for the Reds. Ryu was pulled after three more batters, including a sac fly by Chris Heisey that brought across the Reds' first run of the game. Reliever Brian Wilson later gave up a double to Billy Hamilton that brought home two more runs, both of which were charged to Ryu.

The Dodgers hung on to win 4-3, thanks to a four-out save from closer Kenley Jansen, making sure Ryu's close-to-historical night counted for something.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!