Mike Soroka returned to Rome, Georgia for an MLB rehab appearance on Tuesday night. The Canadian right hander’s appearance at AdventHealth Stadium was his first since bringing home the South Atlantic League title in 2016. Soroka’s outing marked his first time stepping on a mound since 2020. Rome also entered Tuesday night’s contest in first place, with a three and a half game lead over the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
Despite missing so much time, Soroka got right to work on Tuesday night against the Greensboro Grasshoppers as he struck out the side on ten pitches in the opening frame. Soroka would go on to finish the night with four full innings pitched, while striking out eight of the fourteen batters that he faced.
Cal Conley would get the Braves on the board first in the home half of the third inning with a ground out that scored Beau Philip. In the fourth inning, Tyler Tolve would belt his tenth home run of the year to put the Braves up two runs to none after Soroka’s departure.
Jake McSteen would be the first man out of the pen for Rome on Tuesday night, and Greensboro would take advantage of the Braves bullpen in the middle innings. In the top half of the fifth, Francisco Acuna would double to left to get Greensboro on the board for the first time all night, cutting their deficit in half. Francisco Acuna would be the man again for the Grasshoppers in their half of the seventh inning, belting a three run home run to put Greensboro out in front by a score of four to two.
Miguel Pena and Trey Riley would team up to hold the Greensboro offense at bay, setting the stage for a ninth inning comeback from the Braves. Rome would rattle off two runs in the home half of the ninth inning as Cal Conley and Geraldo Quintero would both single to plate a run.
Greensboro would jump back out in front in the tenth inning, but a Bryson Horne double to lead off the home half of the tenth would draw the score even again at five runs each. Caleb Durbin would find himself at the plate with the bases loaded for the Braves in the bottom of the tenth. After falling into a three ball one strike count, Durbin sent the next pitch he saw right back up the middle to score Horne and give the Braves the win.
The six to five victory over the Grasshoppers is Rome’s sixty-sixth of the season, and their thirtieth of the second half. Rome is the first team to reach the thirty-win mark in the league’s second half. With Bowling Green’s loss on Tuesday night, the Braves now enjoy a four and a half game lead over the first half champion Hot Rods.