he Durham Bulls built a four-run lead, then withstood a late Alexandria rally and beat the Dukes tonight for the seventh time in nine Carolina League matchups this season, 5-3.

Down 4-0 in the eighth, the Dukes loaded the bases with nobody out on walks to Mike Quade and Marvin Clack and a throwing error by first baseman Keith Hagman. That finished Durham starter Dave Clay, who had a four-hitter going, and brought on Gary Reiter in relief.

Reiter struck out pinch hitter Jim Felt, but Rick Renteria sent a ground single to center to score two runs. A walk to Ken Ford by reliever Tom Waddell again loaded the bases, and Nick Castaneda's grounder for a fielder's choice pulled the Dukes within one run.

Waddell retired Benny de laRosa to finish the inning and kept Alexandria at bay in the ninth to record his sixth save.

"We've been getting good bullpen support against these guys," said Durham Manager Bobby Dews.

The Bulls scored two runs in the first five innings as Alexandria starter Jeff Horne walked seven batters and gave up five hits. Inning-ending double plays with the bases loaded in the second and fourth, and a perfect throw by de laRosa to retire a runner at the plate, prevented further damage.