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Suns burn Rome for 6th straight win

May 03, 2011

ROME, Ga. — Bryce Harper sparked a five-run seventh inning with a bunt single as the Hagerstown Suns rallied for an 8-2 victory over the Rome Braves in a midmorning matinee Tuesday.

The Suns (17-9) have won six straight and have not lost to Rome (6-20) in eight games this season.

Trailing 2-1 through six innings, Hagerstown looked to Harper to manufacture a run. Harper led off the top of the seventh against Rome starter Carlos Perez by beating out bunt down the first-base line and David Freitas followed with a walk.

Harper stole third, then scored the tying run when Randolph Oduber reached on a fielder’s choice that also moved Freitas to second.

A walk to Mills Rogers loaded the bases and Freitas scored when Oduber was erased at third on a groundout. After another groundout put runners at the corners, Michael Taylor doubled to right to drive in two and give the Suns a 5-2 lead.

Taylor gave Hagerstown a four-run edge when Blake Kelso reached on a throwing error.

The Suns added a run in both the eighth and ninth inning on RBI singles by Rogers and Jason Martinson.

Harper got the Suns on the scoreboard in the first, lining a single to center to score Kelso. He was 2-for-5 and raised his batting average to .358.

Paul Applebee (1-1) got the win for Hagerstown in relief of starter Taylor Jordan, who left the game in the third inning after being hit in the arm with a ground ball off the bat of Rome’s Hilton Richardson.

Applebee pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing two hits — one a solo home run by Barrett Kleinknecht in the fifth inning.

The Suns are off today. They return to Hagerstown to begin an eight-game homestand Thursday at 6:35 against the Lexington Legends.

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