In an effort to bolster his team's hitting attack, Prince William Manager Gary Denbo changed the lineup. It almost worked. The Cannons banged out 10 hits, but they stranded 13 runners in a 1-0 loss to Winston-Salem on a seventh-inning home run by Doug Welch last night before 2,767 at Prince William County Stadium.
John Salles (11-4) pitched six innings. John Gardner came on in relief of Bill Melvin with two out in the seventh, striking out five to earn his fifth save.
Mike Draper (0-1), who was 14-6 for the Cannons last year, yielded six hits and two walks and struck out two in his first start since being recalled from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.).
The loss completed a three-game sweep for the Spirits (33-20), who finished the season series 15-5.
The Cannons (24-26), who entered the contest with a 1 1/2-game lead over Frederick in the Northern Division, stranded 13 runners in the first six innings and haven't scored a run in 20 innings.
With the bases loaded in the second inning, John Viera struck out and Dave Silvestri grounded out to short.
Viera also struck out with a runner in scoring position in the fourth. With Dave Howell on second in the sixth, Viera singled to right, and Howell was thrown out at the plate by John Jensen. Silvestri, who is in a two-for-14 slump, then bounced out to short to end the inning.
Welch led off the seventh by sending the ball over the left field wall -- his 11th home run -- to give the Spirits a 1-0 lead.
Mauricio Zazueta had a leadoff single in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.