Braves young talent is too much for Giants to handle, fall 4-1

Jerry McDonald, The Mercury News on

Published in Baseball

SAN FRANCISCO -- The kind of young talent the Giants could only dream of was on display Monday night in a 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Oracle Park.

Starting pitcher Mike Soroka, 21, improved his record to 5-1, giving up two hits in eight innings with no walks and seven strikeouts. Leadoff batter Ronald Acuna Jr., also 21, hit a leadoff home run in the first inning and another solo shot in the seventh off Nick Vincent, his 10th and 11th of the season. He also had a fifth inning double.

Shortstop Brandon Crawford accounted for the lone run off Soroka with his third home run of the season leading off the sixth inning and was in fact the first Giants baserunner of the game.

Atlanta improved to 26-22 on the season, with Sean Newcomb coming on to get the last three outs in the ninth inning for his first save. The Giants fell to 20-26.

Giants starter Andrew Suarez (0-1) saw his first pitch of the game end up midway up the left field bleachers courtesy of Acuna, but didn't give up any more runs until rookie Austin Riley's two-run home run in the sixth, his third of the season in only six major-league games.

The left-hander, recalled from Triple-A Sacramento, gave up three earned runs, walked four and struck out five.


Soroka made it look easy in retiring the first 15 batters against the Giants and was so dominant it wasn't hard to envision the 21-year-old finishing the whole thing off with a no-hitter or perfect game.

That possibility ended courtesy of Crawford, who opened the sixth with a home run over the center-field fence to get the Giants within 3-1. It was the first home run Soroka had surrendered in 61 1/3 innings.

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