Potomac's Rob Macrory had a leadoff home run, drove in another run and stole home. But it was his relay throw that preserved a tie in the ninth inning and helped the Cannons defeat Salem, 6-5, last night in a Class A Carolina League game before 3,045 at Pfitzner Stadium.

With two outs in the ninth, Macrory's throw nailed Doug Livingston, who tried to score from first on Jody Gerut's game-tying double. Fittingly, Macrory then led off the Cannons' ninth with a double down the right field line and, after a sacrifice bunt and two intentional walks, he scored when Taber Maier drew a bases-loaded walk.

"I saw [Livingston] rounding second and [right fielder] Willie [Ortega] got to the ball pretty quick so I thought, `We might have a shot to get him,' " said Macrory, who has taken over leadoff duties this month.

"That throw gave us a chance to win this game," Potomac Manager Joe Cunningham said.

"When you play 140 games, you'd like to have one or two where you play well," Macrory said.

Despite giving up a pair of final-inning runs, Cannons reliever Jose De Leon (4-3) was the beneficiary of Macrory's throw. Potomac (14-17 in the second half) has won four games in a homestand for the first time in this otherwise disappointing season. Overall, the Cannons are 38-62.

KEYS 9, WARTHOGS 6: First baseman Franky Figueroa went 3 for 5 and Josh McNatt (1-3) pitched five innings as visiting Frederick beat Winston-Salem in front of 2,822 at Ernie Shore Field. Center fielder Darnell McDonald and shortstop Eddy Martinez had two RBI each for the Keys, who remained one game behind first-place Lynchburg in the Northern Division.