Alexandria climbed out of the cellar of the Northern Division of the Carolina League yesterday with a 6-3 victory over the Salem Redbirds before 710 at Four Mile Fun Park. The victory was the fourth in a row for the Dukes (19-24) and concluded a three-game sweep of Salem.
Rich Leggatt gave up five hits in eight innings to earn his first victory. Leggatt struck out six, induced 10 ground balls and broke several Redbird bats with a good tailing fast ball.
"Rich's fast ball is deceiving because he has a slow windup and his ball rides in on righties," said Duke Manager Mike Toomey.
Leggatt also kept Salem hitters off balance with an assortment of curve balls and changeups.
"I've been working on squeezing the ball more on my change," said Leggatt. "I threw it 10 or 15 times to try to get ahead of the hitters."
Pete Hamner pitched the final inning and did not allow a run. He had pitched 17 2/3 innings without giving up an earned run.
Alexandria had 11 hits, including a home run by Jim Felt, his fifth. John Schaive's fifth-inning triple gave the Dukes the lead for good, 3-2.
The Dukes' Geronimo Blanco extended his hitting streak to nine games with three hits, including a run-scoring double.
Alexandria will be home tonight to face the defending Carolina League champion Peninsula Pilots at 7:30. Art Ray (4-1), who has won three straight, will pitch for the Dukes.