Alexandria, the winner of four straight games and 11 of its last 12 Carolina League contests, was pummeled by the Salem Redbirds, 15-3, last night at Four Mile Run Park.
With catchers Mike Fitzgerald and Jerry Neufang, third baseman Luis Ortiz and outfielder Roberto Dennis disabled, the Dukes had a hard time fielding a team. Manager Mike Toomey and Coach Elwood Holland had to take the field.
The Dukes might as well have taken the day off, doing very little right in the debacle. Four Alexandria pitchers yielded 17 hits, walked nine and threw five wild pitches, including three by Wes Williams in the ninth inning. Starter Tim Norris, who lost a 2-0 decision at Kinston to end a seven-game Duke winning streak last week, gave up 10 hits and five runs in 3 1/3 innings to take his fifth loss in six decisions.
Brent Hillenga's three-run homer in a four-run third inning gave Salem all the runs it needed. The Redbirds might have scored more, but Carlos Rios, after rounding second base on Benny DeLaRosa's single to right field, ran toward the dugout, thinking the ball was caught and that he was the victim of an easy double play.
Mark Johnson connected for his fifth homer, a two-run shot in the bottom of the third, to bring the Dukes back to 4-3. But Alexandria could produce only two walks off starter John Taylor (3-2) and Dale Mohorcic the rest of the way.