Giants hold on in the 9th to sweep Braves
ATLANTA (AP) — Andrew Suarez is fitting in San Francisco’s rotation just fine, especially after his first career road start was added to the Giants’ ledger of impressive results away from home.
Suarez outpitched Mike Soroka in a rookie matchup, and San Francisco survived Atlanta’s ninth-inning rally for a 4-3 win on Sunday and the Giants’ first series sweep of the Braves in four years.
Giants starters have a 2.55 ERA in 17 road games after Suarez (1-1) allowed only one unearned run and seven hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings for his first win.
Suarez, a left-hander, shut down Braves hitters that began the day leading the majors with a .274 average and leading the National League in several categories, including runs.
“It’s something I’m never going to forget, for sure,” Suarez said. “I’m just happy we got the win and especially the sweep.”
Suarez has allowed two earned runs in two starts since he was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on May 1 to replace the injured Johnny Cueto in the rotation.
“That’s huge and that’s what has to happen,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “When you have injuries, hopefully you have depth and you have somebody come up and do a nice job for you.”
The Braves rallied with two runs off closer Hunter Strickland in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki’s double drove in Jose Bautista, who singled. Ender Inciarte’s groundout drove in Johan Camargo, before Ozzie Alibies popped out to end the game. Strickland earned his eighth save.
Bochy acknowledged the inning was “a little scary.”
“That’s what your closer has to do, though,” he said. “He has to keep his composure out there and make pitches.”
Nick Hundley and Pablo Sandoval had run-scoring singles to give the Giants a 2-1 lead in the third.
San Francisco added two more runs in the fourth. Alen Hanson, who had an infield single, scored from third on a head-first slide home, beating first baseman Freddie Freeman’s throw after fielding Gregor Blanco’s grounder.
Hanson added a fifth-inning double for his third straight two-hit game of the series, but he committed two fielding errors.
Soroka (1-1) lasted only four innings in his first home start, allowing four runs and seven hits and three walks.
“He wasn’t as sharp, obviously,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. “You’re going to have games like that.”
The Giants’ previous sweep of the Braves came on May 2-4, 2014 at Turner Field.
Giants: Bochy said OF Mac Williamson, who was eligible to be reinstated from the seven-day concussion DL on Saturday, will remain on the DL for “a couple days” and likely will need a minor league rehab stint. ... Bochy said RHP Reyes Moronta, who left Saturday night’s game with a tight back after throwing eight straight balls to open the ninth, “seems to be doing better.”
Braves: RHP Lucas Sims, who allowed two runs in 3 2/3 innings on Saturday night, was sent back to Triple-A Gwinnett. The Braves recalled RHP Luke Jackson.
ACUNA SHOWS SPEED
Ronald Acuna Jr., the top prospect who made his debut on April 25, singled to left field in the first inning for his first hit at SunTrust Park. Acuna scored on Tyler Flowers’ single.
Acuna showed his speed when he beat out an infield single in the third. Sandoval fielded Acuna’s grounder cleanly at third base, took a step, threw to first and then appeared shocked Acuna beat the throw.
GIANTS SIGN HANIGAN
Catcher Ryan Hanigan, who was released by the Indians before the season, signed a minor league deal with the Giants. Hanigan, 37, hit .267 with two homers in 101 at-bats with Colorado in 2017 following two seasons with Boston. He has hit .251 in 11 seasons, including his first seven with Cincinnati.
With Soroka, 20, Acuna, 20, and Ozzie Albies, 21, the Braves had the three youngest players in the majors on the field together.
Soroka’s highlight of the day was a second-inning single up the middle for his first hit. He said his sinker “was a little flatter than I would have liked out of the gate.” He said patient approaches by Giants hitters left him behind in too many counts.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 5.27) will try to improve on his 8.18 career ERA against the Phillies when San Francisco opens a four-game series at Philadelphia on Monday.
Braves: Following a day off on Monday, LHP Sean Newcomb will take a 3.38 ERA into Tuesday night’s start at Tampa Bay.
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