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G-Braves fall to Yankees, 11-3, in 6 innings

POSTED: July 21, 2012 12:46 a.m.

The Gwinnett Braves opened their eight-game homestand with an 11-3 loss to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in six innings on Friday night at Coolray Field.

Ernesto Mejia went 2 for 2 with his team-leading 21st home run, but the Yankees scored five runs in the fourth and three more in the sixth before rain ended the game early.

Jonny Venters made the start for the G-Braves as part of a Major League rehab assignment and worked a perfect first inning, throwing just six pitches. Jose Lugo replaced Venters in the second and took the loss, allowing eight runs on nine hits over just 2 À innings. Cole McCurry yielded three more runs over 2 À innings for Gwinnett.

Scranton jumped out to an early lead after tallying three runs in the second inning off Lugo. Jack Cust greeted Lugo with a single, then scored as Kosuke Fukudome blistered a triple into right-center. Ramiro Pena added an RBI single scoring Fukudome and Kevin Russo grounded into an RBI force-out, scoring Cole Garner to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.

Mejia answered back with a pair of hits to help the G-Braves draw even. The big first baseman singled and scored on a two-out double by Ruben Gotay that cut the deficit to 3-1 in the second inning. An inning later, Mejia smashed a two-run shot to left for his 21st blast of the year, tying the game at 3-3.

Scranton wasted little time recapturing the lead, as they crossed the plate five times in the fourth inning against Lugo. Russo ripped a two-run double to left-center scoring Pena and Doug Bernier to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead.

Francisco Cervelli added an RBI double and Brandon Laird tacked on two more runs with another double to increase the lead to 8-3 and chase Lugo from the game.

Jose Constanza went 0 for 2 at the plate, ending his Gwinnett franchise record hitting streak at 22 games. Constanza’s streak was the longest streak in the International League since the 2007 season.

The Gwinnett Braves and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees play game two of the four-game series tonight at Coolray Field, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The Gwinnett starter is slated to be left-hander Brent Leach (0-2, 1.59 with Double-A Mississippi), while the Yankees will throw right-hander Ramon Ortiz (7-3, 2.84).


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