Alexandria got revenge last night, beating Kinston, 8-3 and 2-1, behind superb pitching and timely hitting at Four Mile Run Park.
The sweep gave the Dukes a four-game winning streak; they lost their first five games. The Eagles swept a four-game series from the Dukes last week in Kinston in the opening series of the Carolina League. Kinston's record is 6-2.
In the second game, Lance Dodd came within three outs of pitching what would have been the Dukes' first no-hitter. Ron Sheperd broke it up with a leadoff double in the seventh inning.
Mike Johson (1-1), the winner in the first game, pitched shutout ball for 6 2/3 innings. He gave up only five hits and two runs, both in the seventh inning when the Eagles trailed 8-0.
The Dukes used two hits and a walk to score their first run in the second inning of the second game. Catcher Ken Ford Reached base on a fielder's choice and Brad Garnett walked. After Andy Snaith struck out, shortstop Rafael Belliard drove in Ford.
Eagle pitcher Ty Carter hit Scott Kuvinka with a pitch in the fourth inning and Kuvinka advanced on a passed ball. Garnett's single to right proved to be the game-winner.
"They (Kinston) are the first-place team, so it felt especially good to beat them," said Dukes Manager Mike Toomey. "Winning these two games after losing three one-run ball games to them last week shows a lot of character. The key to both games was the excellent pitching and the tight defense."
The Dukes turned two double plays in each game to kill Kinston rallies, the most important coming in the fifth inning of the second game. With runners on first and second and no outs, Dodd enduced Eagle Phil Lansford to his weakly in front on the plate. Ford picked up the ball, threw to third baseman Bob Miscik for one out, and Miscik's throw to first got Dodd out of his only serious trouble.
In the opening game, the Dukes bunched four hits and three walks in the sixth inning to score six runs and put the game out of reach.
The Dukes will try to reach the .500 mark today with the last the three-game series with Kinston at Four Mile Run Park at 2 p.m.