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Knoblauch, Martinez up to old tricks again

Yankee commits 2 errors; Boston ace pitches well

Chuck Knoblauch made four more perfectly awful throws. Pedro Martinez pitched four nearly perfect innings.

"It was a rough day, that's about all I can say," Knoblauch said Monday as the New York Yankees lost to Minnesota 8-7.

Plagued by throwing problems last season, the former Gold Glove second baseman showed up early to spring training this year to work on the trouble.

No luck.

Knoblauch was charged with two errors against the Twins, giving him five in 10 exhibition games.

"I didn't expect to have it cured in one day," he said. "You take it, file it, put it away and work on it tomorrow."

Knoblauch has made seven bad throws in his past three games.

"It was a bad day," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "You just have to fight your way through it. There's no magic formula. He's addressing it, he's working hard. The only thing we can do is support him."

Knoblauch was previously scheduled to have a day off Tuesday when the Yankees play Kansas City.

"Tomorrow might be a perfect day for a work day," Knoblauch said. "We still have 20 some games left. It's a lot of time to get ready."

While Knoblauch was wild in the Yankees' loss at Fort Myers, Fla., Martinez was in the same city, making his spring debut.

The two-time AL Cy Young winner pitched hitless ball and struck out seven as the Boston Red Sox lost to Montreal 7-0.

Martinez allowed only one runner, walking Mike Mordecai.

"I felt pretty good," Martinez said. "I felt like I am getting there. I am not quite hitting my spots yet. I'm not really consistent with my pitches, except the curveball. I need to feel more comfortable with my mechanics than I have."

At Jupiter, Fla., Mark McGwire hit his second home run of the spring, a two-run drive that helped the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in a split-squad game.

McGwire connected in the first inning off Ramon Martinez and added an RBI single in the fifth off Yorkis Perez, giving him four RBIs this spring.

Coming off knee surgery during the offseason, McGwire wouldn't say he was approaching full strength.

"There's a long ways to go," McGwire said.

At Vero Beach, Fla., Dodgers outfielder Gary Sheffield, who wanted to be traded and angrily denounced his team before withdrawing the request last weekend, switched agents, firing Jim Neader and hiring Scott Boras.

"Our philosophy is that our players honor their contracts," Boras said. "That was something we had to agree on and we came to an understanding. Everything will be done in a quiet and professional way."

Sheffield went 0-for-3 and was booed in each of his at-bats as the Dodgers' split squad lost 3-1 to the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

During the game, Sheffield met with Dodgers chairman Bob Daly for 30 minutes and apologized for his actions. Reading from a statement, Sheffield later said, "I owe the L.A. Dodger fans an apology."

TWINS 8, YANKEES 7: After pitching five hitless innings in his first two starts of the spring, Roger Clemens was tagged for six runs and 11 hits in 3 1-3 innings.

CARDINALS (SS) 7, ASTROS 3: At Kissimmee, Fla., Larry Sutton homered off the center-field screen for St. Louis. Jeff Bagwell hit a two-run double for Houston.

BRAVES 19, INDIANS 5: At Winter Haven, Fla., Cory Aldridge homered and drove in five runs. The Atlanta outfielder has three homers this spring. Cleveland's Charles Nagy, coming back from elbow surgery, gave up six runs and eight hits in three innings.

RANGERS 5, PIRATES 3: At Port Charlotte, Fla., Ruben Sierra homered, doubled and drove in three runs for Texas.

ROYALS 10, TIGERS 4: At Lakeland, Fla., Jermaine Dye hit a home run and a double and Luis Alicea drove in three runs for Kansas City.

PHILLIES 5, BLUE JAYS 4: At Clearwater, Fla., Philadelphia rookie Jimmy Rollins had four hits, including his third homer of the spring.

DEVIL RAYS 7, REDS 0: At St. Petersburg, Fla., Randy Winn homered, Jose Guillen drove in three runs and Bryan Rekar pitched four strong innings.

WHITE SOX 3, MARINERS (ss) 0: At Peoria, Ariz., Jim Parque teamed with three relievers on a four-hitter.

MARINERS (SS) 4, ANGELS (ss) 3: At Tempe, Ariz., Anaheim starter Tim Belcher gave up two runs and four hits in four innings.

ANGELS (SS) 6, BREWERS 1: At Phoenix, Scott Schoeneweis pitched four scoreless innings for Anaheim. Milwaukee rookie Ben Sheets allowed two runs in the first, then pitched three scoreless innings.

DIAMONDBACKS 7, ATHLETICS 4: At Tucson, Ariz., the Diamondbacks' Melvin Rosario homered from both sides of the plate. Arizona's Mike Morgan, at 41, pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief to improve to 2-0 this spring.

CUBS 11, ROCKIES 10: At Tucson, Cubs reliever Tom Gordon gave up two runs and three hits in one inning.

PADRES 6, GIANTS 3: At Scottsdale, Ariz., Mike Colangelo singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning.

ORIOLES 11, MARLINS 4: At Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Delino DeShields hit a three-run double and then scored as part of a double steal.

METS 3, DODGERS (SS) 1: At Port St. Lucie, Fla., catcher Vance Wilson hit a two-out, two-run homer to cap a three-run fourth inning.