The Alexandria Dukes ended a six-game losing streak that relegated them to the Carolina League cellar by whipping the Peninsula Pilots, 6-1, in the opener of a day-night doubleheader yesterday at Four Mile Run park.
Alexandria trailing 1-0, moved into the lead to stay in the third inning when Gary Pellant and Calvin King smashed back-to-back home runs with one out. Pellant knocked his fourth of the year over the right field fence. Cleanup batter King sent his third round tripper (second in two days) over the wall in left.
The Dukes cushioned their lead in the bottom of the sixth with four runs. Catcher Chris Hudson singled, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on Steve Rackley's double to right. John Norris was hit by a pitch by reliever Jim Nickerson. Both runners came home on Hunt Mitchell's single and Mitchell eventually scored on a fielder's choice.
The Dukes, who dropped two games to Peninsula Saturday, had fallen behind in the first inning. Pilot leadoff batter Jay Loviglio reached on an error, stole second and third and scored on Ossie Virgil's infield single.
Peninsula threatened in the fourth inning, loading the bases with none out, but newly acquired Duke third baseman Rick Wade fielded two straight grounders and forced each lead runner at the plate. Pitcher Pierre Lyons ended the rally with an unassisted putout.
In the fifth, Peninsula loaded the bases with one out. Lyons left for the showers and reliever Pete Garrity forced two infield outs to end the threat.