The league-leading Winston-Salem Red Sox used a hotly disputed unearned run in the top of the eight innig to whip the Alexandria Mariners, 6-5, in Carolina League play last night at Four-Mile Stadium.

Mark Kaeterle led off the Red Sox eighth with a single to right-center field, was sacriced to second by Miguel Tavera and moved to third on Irwin Bryant's groundout to second. Then John Lickert grounded to ehird baseman Cary Pellant, who threw high and wide across the diamond. First baseman Mike Moore stretched toward right field, but was charged with an error when he crossed his feet and was unable to reach back and touch the base.

Keaterle crossed the plate on the play to give the Red Sox a 6-5 lead.

The Alexandria becch made it known that it thought Moore had kicked the bag. With the next batter at the plate, Mariner Manager Bobby Floyd, who had a heated argument in the seventh when plate umpire John Hughes threw out Tommu Mee for tossing his helmet after a called third strike, was ejected for the second straight evening when he knocked two batting helmets 10 feet from the dug-out.

Floyd's early departure marked six Mariner ejections in thir last two games.