LOS ANGELES » Dodgers manager Don Mattingly got on the plane after Josh Beckett’s no-hitter in Philadelphia and teased next-day starter Hyun-Jin Ryu.
"You have to throw a perfect game to top Beckett," Mattingly told the South Korean left-hander.
Ryu nearly did.
He retired his first 21 batters before Todd Frazier’s leadoff double in the eighth inning, and Los Angeles held on to beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Monday.
"For a minute there, I thought, ‘Whew, he might do it,’ " Mattingly said.
The Reds hit only three balls out of the infield before Frazier doubled down the left-field line on an 0-1 pitch. That followed a three-run seventh by the Dodgers in which Ryu ran the bases and scored.
Ryu came close to making the Dodgers the first team in major league history with consecutive no-hitters. Beckett won 6-0 on Sunday.
"Of course it was in the back of my mind," Ryu said through a translator, explaining that he had never carried a no-hit bid that deep. "It wasn’t until the seventh that I thought it could happen."
Los Angeles pitchers tossed a club-record 17 straight hitless innings dating to Saturday, when Paul Maholm got it started against the Phillies.
The only other team since 1974 to have a no-hitter through seven innings in back-to-back games was the Oakland Athletics on July 14-15, 2005, against Texas, according to STATS.
"It gives us confidence as a ballclub that what we’ve been built for is to pitch," Mattingly said. "It tells me we can get on a roll."
The only other club since 1974 to pitch 17 straight hitless innings was the Los Angeles Angels — May 1-3, 2012, including Jered Weaver’s no-hitter, STATS said.
"I was more nervous tonight," Mattingly said. "It’s a one-run game and one swing can change the whole game. It was fun to watch until the eighth."
Cincinnati scored three times in the eighth, but right fielder Yasiel Puig made a key defensive play when he cut off Billy Hamilton’s two-run double in the gap. The relay home held Skip Schumaker at third, and Kenley Jansen struck out Brandon Phillips with the bases loaded to preserve a 4-3 lead.
Jansen also worked the ninth, retiring Devin Mesoraco with two on for his 15th save.
Johnny Cueto (4-4) allowed four hits and four runs — one earned — in 61/3 innings.
Ryu (5-2) was charged with three runs and three hits in 71/3 innings, improving to 6-0 in six starts against the Reds.
Beth Harris, Associated Press