Robert Rock of the Salem Pirates hadn't played at Four Mile Run Park since he was an All-Metropolitan pitcher at Mt. Vernon High School in 1976.
Yesterday, Rock returned. He held the Alexandria Dukes scoreless for seven innings on three hits, helping his Class A Carolina League club to a 10-5 victory before a crowd of 1,012.
The Pirates completed a three-game sweep of the Dukes, winning their ninth game in their last 10 for a 10-7 record. It was the fifth straight loss for the Dukes, dropping them to 6-8.
The Pirates held a 3-0 advantage entering the seventh, then pushed across seven unearned runs after two were out for a 10-0 lead. Salem batted around in the inning and collected seven hits, one of them a bases-clearing double by Rick Lancellotti.
Alexandria, shackled by Rock partially retaliated in the eighth. A walk to Jim Niffenegger and consecutive singles to right field by Elwood Holland, Hunt Mitchell, and Mark Shuster produced two runs. Back-to-back doubles by Ray Bayer and Steve Rackley cut the dificit to 10-4.
Alexandria kept most of the fans in their seats with a last-ditch effort in the bottom of the ninth. Bob Diering led off with a walk, went to a third on Mitchell's slashing single to right, and scored on Shuster's single to left. A two-out walk to Boyer loaded the bases. Reliever Jim Busby came on and Gary Pellant grounded to second baseman Jerry McDonald ending the game.
Attendance for the three-game homestand, first for a professional team in this area in seven years, was reported at 5,543.