Staff Photo: John Bohn Gwinnett Braves base runner Jose Constanza is tagged out while attempting to steal third base as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre third baseman Kevin Russo makes a tag during the first inning Friday.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- When it rains, it pours.
That saying was appropriate in both the literal and figurative senses for the Gwinnett Braves during a rain-shortened 11-3 loss to the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees on Friday.
If the showers that began midway through the evening didn't put a damper on the Coolray Field crowd, the 12-hit barrage by the Scranton offense, led by three hits from Brandon Laird , did.
The Yankees sent 10 men to the plate in the top of the fourth, with five coming home to break open a 3-3 game.
"They swung the bats," G-Braves manager Dave Brundage said of Scranton. "They were aggressive early on."
Making his first appearance during a rehab assignment on his way back from an elbow injury, Atlanta left-handed reliever Jonny Venters made a surprise start of the game and set down Scranton in order in the top of the first.
But the Yankees got to scheduled G-Braves starter Jose Lugo (2-6) for three runs when he came on the top of the second, with Kosuke Fukodome's RBI triple and Ramiro Pena's RBI single being the big blows.
The G-Braves answered with Ruben Gotay's RBI double in the bottom of the inning, and then tied the game at 3-3 when Ernesto Mejia blasted a two-run home run in the bottom of the third.
But it didn't take long for Scranton to answer off Lugo in the top of the fourth.
Pena led off the inning by sending a drive just out of the reach of a diving Luis Durango in center for a triple, and after Doug Bernier drew a walk, both runners came home when Kevin Russo blasted a double to the wall in left-center to put the Yankees back in front 5-3.
Francisco Cervelli later drove home another run with a double, and Laird added another double, good for two runs.
When the inning was over, Scranton had scored five runs to push its lead to 8-3.
"We got ourselves back to 3-3 with a little bit of momentum on our side," Brundage said. "We needed to go out and put up a shutdown inning. We got quite the contrary."
As the rain began to fall in the fifth, Scranton's deluge continued into the fifth.
Cole Garner added another two-run double during a three-run rally in the top of the sixth off G-Braves reliever Coley McCurry as the Yankees, who had six extra-base hits on the night, to extend their lead to 10-3.
Garner then advanced to third on Pena's RBI groundout to make the score 11-3, and Scranton was threatening for even more runs before umpires called for the tarp to be put on the field following a lengthy meeting with both managers.
And after a 34-minute delay, the umpiring crew determined play could not continue and called the game.