Karl Best, making his first home appearance, scattered seven hits to lead the Alexandria Mariners to a 3-1 Carolina League decision over Salem last night for a three-game sweep of the Pirates at Four Mile Run Park.

Best, now 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA, came within one stride of a shutout. With two out in the ninth inning and Rick Federici on third base. Best walked Wess Hair with a full count. Eduardo Mirabel then looped a single to left field, scoring Federici, before Junior Ortiz fanned.

Alexandria batters did not register an RBI, runs scoring on a wild pitch, a passed ball and an error.

The Mariners scored twice in the third following singles by Elwood Holland and Chuck Lindsay. John Randolf advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt and Holland came in on a wild pitch. Next catcher Ortiz failed to hustle for a ball that popped from his mitt less than 10 feet away, Lindsay scoring.

With one out in the eighth, Gary Koke walked and stole second base. Ortiz's throw went into center field, but Koke did not run until the errant peg went through center fielder Benny Delarosa's legs. Koke easily came around to score.