The Lynchburg Mets scored seven runs in the sixth inning last night as they routed the Alexandria Dukes, 13-2, in a Carolina League game at Four Mile Run Park.
Four Duke pitchers combined to strike out 17 Met batters, but the visitors managed 12 hits to gain the victory before 469 fans.
Al Edwards, making his first appearance for Alexandria, pitched the first five innings, striking out 10. But Edwards was roughed up for six hits and seven runs, four of them earned.
Rusty Tillman's fifth home run gave the Mets a 2-0 lead in the third. Lynchburg added a pair in the fifth, before turning the game into a rout in the sixth.
Three consecutive hits, including a run-scoring double by Dave Howard, chased Edwards in the sixth. Pete Hamner, who had not allowed an earned run in 22 previous relief innings, replaced Edwards, but was battered for four hits and four runs in only two-thirds of an inning as Tillman drove in two more runs with a single.
Alexandria had little success against Met starter and winner Richard Ownbey (4-1). The hard throwing right-hander allowed only four singles in seven innings, while striking out nine.
The Dukes broke up the shutout in the ninth off reliever Dave Smith. Bruss Bowman singled with one out and three consecutive Smith walks, the last to Elwood Holland, forced in a run. Bill Butler followed with an infield single, scoring the second run, but when Greg Burtt took a wide turn at second, shortstop Jose Oquendo threw him out to end the game.