(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Dodgers' big two of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke get a lot of the spotlight, but Hyun-Jin Ryu has done more than hold his own this season.
Ryu shoots for his 10th victory of the season on Tuesday night when the Dodgers begin a quick two-game series with the Detroit Tigers.
Los Angeles starters lead all of baseball with 45 wins and a 3.03 earned run average while also topping the NL with 506 strikeouts. Josh Beckett and Kershaw have both thrown no-hitters this season and Greinke is tied for the NL lead in victories with 11.
Then there is Ryu, who is a solid 9-4 on the year with a 3.08 ERA. He also is 6-1 with a 1.62 ERA in eight road assignments, success he'll look to extend tonight in his first-ever encounter with Detroit.
The 27-year-old lefty pitched a quality start versus Cleveland on Wednesday, but did not factor into a 5-4 loss. He gave up two runs on seven hits over seven innings, fanning eight without a walk.
"He didn't have real good stuff, but when he got us the lead he emptied the tank," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Ryu. "We led, we lost it and we battled back. We didn't win but I'm not frustrated."
The Dodgers have rode strong pitching to a 14-6 record in their last 20 games, moving one game ahead of San Francisco for first place in the NL West.
"Our pitching is our strength," said Mattingly following an 8-2 win over Colorado on Sunday. "It's really what is going to get us where we want to go."
Detroit would love to ride a vintage Justin Verlander into the playoffs, but the former MVP is just 7-7 on the year with a 4.71 ERA. He'll try to move above .500 tonight.
The right-handed Verlander snapped a five-start winless streak (0-3, 6.82) with a 9-3 decision over Oakland on Wednesday. In his first win since May 30, Verlander allowed two runs on nine hits over six innings. Both runs allowed came on solo homers, but he did not walk a batter and fanned four.
Verlander, 31, has never faced the Dodgers, but is 22-2 all-time in interleague play with a 2.56 ERA in 29 starts.
The Tigers hope to get back on track after losing the final three of a four- game set with the Tampa Bay Rays to cap last week.
Rick Porcello came into Sunday's contest riding back-to-back shutouts and a 25-inning scoreless streak, but was tagged for seven runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 7-3 setback.
Torii Hunter and J.D. Martinez each hit solo homers in the setback.
"It sucks," Hunter said of the how the series ended. "Don't sleep on (the Rays)."
Detroit leads the AL Central by 3 1/2 games over Kansas City.
The Tigers and Dodgers split a two-game set in L.A. back in early April, with both contests decided in 10 innings. Los Angeles has won five of the previous eight meetings overall.