Giants-Braves finale features rookie starters

ATLANTA — Rookies Mike Soroka and Andrew Suarez face off Sunday in the series finale between the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants, each pitcher trying to stay in his team’s rotation.

Soroka won his major league debut for the Braves in impressive fashion Tuesday, while Suarez worked seven strong innings in his second start for the Giants the same day.

The Braves especially need a strong repeat start from Soroka after being outscored 20-6 while losing the first two games against the Giants.

Pitching like a veteran instead of someone only 20 years old, Soroka gave up six hits and a run over six innings against the Mets in New York while striking out five and walking none.

The 2015 first-round draft from Canada gave up three hits to Yoenis Cespedes, including a sixth-inning homer, but shut down the rest of the New York hitters in the 3-2 victory.

“It’s not like it shocked me,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of right-hander Soroka’s performance. “I saw him in spring training and he is a very poised, mature (pitcher).”

Soroka had an at-bat, grounding out to end a three-run Braves first inning, before he threw his first major league pitch.

“I got the jitters out of the way,” said Soroka, who threw 58 of his 80 pitches for strikes. “It kind of felt like another inning after that. I executed pitch one and went from there.”

Suarez took a loss against Arizona in his debut April 11, but the left-hander held San Diego to four hits and two runs while striking out five and walking one in his more recent outing, a no-decision.

“What a great job he did,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He pounded the strike zone and pitched very efficiently. … He really just looked calm out there with good poise. That was really encouraging to see.”

Suarez, 25, was a second-round draft choice out of the University of Miami. He got through seven innings on 84 pitches thanks to being able to induce three double plays.

Injuries caused the opportunities for Soroka and Suarez.

Soroka took the place of Anibal Sanchez, while Suarez stepped in when Johnny Cueto became the latest Giants starter to go down.

Sanchez, who strained a hamstring while running in the outfield, is expected to be ready to come off the disabled list soon.

Cueto’s elbow injury could require Tommy John surgery. Cueto, 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in five starts, is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews on Monday.

Despite their injury issues, the Giants (18-15) have won five straight series and can get their first sweep of the season after 9-4 and 11-2 victories over the National League East-leading Braves (19-13).

The Braves came into the weekend with a five-game winning streak, but the Giants went to work early against Atlanta starters Mike Foltynewicz and Brandon McCarthy.

The Giants, who have won 10 of their past 13 games, pounded out 31 hits in the two wins against the Braves.

Shortstop Brandon Crawford had three hits in each game, driving in four runs, and center fielder Gorkys Hernandez had four of Saturday’s 18 hits.