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Hefflinger's slam sends Suns to second straight loss

May 07, 2010

ROME, Ga. -- Robert Hefflinger's grand slam highlighted a six-run fifth inning as the Rome Braves rallied for a 9-5 win over the Hagerstown Suns in a morning matinee on Thursday.

Hefflinger's homer to left also signaled the end of the game for Suns starter Josh Smoker, who was ejected by the home plate umpire after Hefflinger's blast gave the Braves a 6-4 lead.

Smoker (0-5) hadn't allowed Rome a hit in the first four innings, but got into immediate trouble in the fifth as Matt Weaver, Braeden Sclehuber and Derek Wiley started the inning with three consecutive singles.

After striking out L.V. Ware, Smoker hit Kyle Rose to score one run, then walked Mycal Jones to plate another and bring Hefflinger to the plate.

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The Suns got their first run in the top of the first in unusual fashion. With one out, Daniel Lyons was hit by a pitch and moved to second on an error on a pickoff attempt. Braves starter Arodys Vizcaino (4-2) unleashed a wild pitch, walking Steven Souza and allowing Lyons to take third. Lyons eventually scored on a balk.

Hagerstown added three more runs in the second. Adrian Nieto singled and scored on Eury Perez's base hit. Perez stole second, moved to third on a bunt single by Francisco Soriano and scored on a sacrifice fly by Lyons. Soriano then scored on a single by Justin Bloxom.

Hefflinger -- who finished with six RBIs -- drove in his fifth run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth for a 7-4 Braves lead. He plated another in the eighth with a base hit, then scored on Jordan Kreke's triple to give Rome a 9-5 lead.

Soriano, Souza and Perez each had two hits for Hagerstown.

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