Winston-Salem took advantage of three defensive miscues by Alexandria and got solid pitching from Mitch Johnson to beat the Dukes, 8-5, last night at Four Mile Run Park.
The Red Sox have taken two straight from the Dukes; the last game of the three-game series is scheduled tonight. For Johnson, it was his fourth win without a loss.
Winston-Salem broke a 3-3 tie in the fourth, scoring four times with four hits while knocking out starter Ravelo Manzanillo, who returned after missing last week's start with an injured hand.
Dave Oliva highlighted the Red Sox fourth with a three-run home run to left field. Tim Gordon had singled and Kevin Burrell had reached on an error by shortstop Tomas Martinez, who misplayed a sharp one-hopper that looked like a double play ball. The Red Sox added another run in the inning to make the score 7-3.
While reliever Jim Buckmeir set down 12 of the 15 Red Sox that he faced, the Dukes could cut into the Red Sox lead with only two runs in the sixth. A bases-loaded single by Nelson De la Rosa scored Jim Felt and Martinez with two outs to close the margin to 7-5.
In the eighth, the Dukes got three hits, but couldn't score. A leadoff single by Ruben Rodriguez and Martinez's third hit of the night put runners on first and second with no outs. But following an unsuccessful sacrifice bunt by Marvin Clack and a fly out by De la Rosa, Martinez was thrown out at the plate on Craig Brown's single to left field.
The Red Sox took a 3-2 lead in the third when the dusk factor came into play. Duke right fielder Brown lost the flight of two routine fly balls in the difficult lighting, allowing two Winston-Salem runs.
The Dukes gained a 2-1 lead on Clack's double that drove in Rodriguuez and Martinez.