Winston-Salem's Ed Connors waited at the plate last night with a 3-2 count, two outs and the bases loaded with his Red Sox trailing, 8-6, in the top of the ninth inning, poised for Alexandria reliever Jeff Cary's pitch.

The only problem, Cary couldn't find a dry ball to throw.

Alexandria Manager Bobby Floyd headed to the mound, prompting plate umpire Mark Schumacher to call the Carolina League contest's second rain delay. Seventeen minutes later, Cary returned and, after Connors fouled off two pitches, Cary blew a fast ball by him to secure the Mariners' 8-6 victory at Four Mile Run Park.

The Mariners, who saw the Red Sox score four runs in the top of the eighth to take a 6-4 lead, responded with a four-run rally in the bottom of the eighth. Dave Valle walked and Chuck Lindsay singled to right. Jim Gabella ran for Valle before Elwood Holland walked to load the bases.

After John Randolph fanned, Tommy Mee grounded into a force at second, scoring Gabella. Then Gary Pellant Lined a double down the left-field line, bringing home Lindsay and Holland for a 7-6 Mariners lead.

Mike Moore singled home Pellant for Alexandria's final run.

The rain started in the bottom of the fourth inning and became heavier in the top of the eighth, leading to delays of 13 and 17 minutes.

Floyd protested the playing conditions when the game was resumed after the second delay.