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  Saturday, Apr. 22 1:10pm ET
Managers upstage players in opener

Game 2: Mets 7, Cubs 6

NEW YORK (AP) -- There were no winners when Bobby Valentine and Don Baylor renewed their feud from Japan to start the day.

Valentine and the New York Mets, however, were the only ones on top when it ended, sweeping Baylor's Chicago Cubs in a doubleheader Saturday.

Bobby Valentine
Mets manager Bobby Valentine and Cubs manager Don Baylor had a somewhat tense exchange before the game.
Robin Ventura's solo homer and a two-run single by Rey Ordonez keyed a five-run sixth inning as the Mets won the nightcap 7-6 for their sixth straight victory.

Derek Bell went 4-for-5 with two RBI, and Glendon Rusch won his first game as a starter in two seasons as New York won the opener 8-3.

Baylor and Valentine got into a heated discussion when they exchanged lineup cards before the first game.

"It's put to rest, I believe," Valentine said of his run-in with Baylor.

The conflict between the two managers started last month in Japan when Valentine protested the season opener because Jeff Huson's name wasn't on the lineup card. He eventually dropped the protest, but Baylor hadn't dropped the issue.

He implied that Valentine was a cheater and that there could be a fight between the two if they met again. He also wouldn't shake Valentine's hand before the second game in Japan.

Earlier this week, Baylor said he'd be "surprised" if Valentine took the lineup card out before the game. Valentine said Friday that was "a pretty good bet" because he had never taken the lineup card out in his first 534 games with New York.

But there he was at home plate before the game.

"My players talked me into doing it, because they had read so much about it in the papers," Valentine said.

After the umpires went over the ground rules, Valentine and Baylor started an animated conversation in which Valentine could be seen saying, "It's that simple."

At one point, the imposing Baylor took two steps toward Valentine. The managers then went back to their respective dugouts without shaking hands. Valentine smirked and shrugged his shoulders as he walked back.

"I just wanted to make sure it wasn't a problem and he indicated that it wasn't," Valentine said. "It's over."

Baylor had little to say about the meeting. When asked about Valentine, he shrugged, turned away and said, "Whatever."

Neither manager brought out the lineups for the second game. Cubs coach Billy Williams and Mets coach John Stearns handled the duties.

The Mets then broke out to a 2-0 lead in the first on Benny Agbayani's two-run single. After the Cubs went ahead 3-2 in the top of the sixth on Jeff Reed's two-run double, the Mets broke the game open in the bottom half.

Ventura led off against Kyle Farnsworth (1-3) with his fourth homer to tie the game at 3. Todd Zeile doubled, Agbayani walked and Kurt Abbott reached on a bunt single.

Mark Guthrie then allowed a two-run single to Ordonez, who had been 0-for-18 with runners in scoring position before getting an RBI single in the eighth inning of the opener.

Melvin Mora added a sacrifice fly and third baseman Shane Andrews' throwing error allowed another run to score.

Dennis Cook (3-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win. Armando Benitez pitched the ninth for his seventh save, giving up Sammy Sosa's single and Henry Rodriguez's home run.

Rusch (1-1) made sure there wasn't much excitement in the opener, holding the Cubs to solo homers by Mark Grace and Andrews in seven innings for his first victory as a starter since beating St. Louis on June 30, 1998, while with Kansas City.

"My confidence is increasing," Rusch said. "I have a great team behind me and I'm just trying to be aggressive and throw strikes."

Jon Lieber (1-2) allowed three runs in seven innings to take the loss.

Game notes
Mets OF Jay Payton was unavailable because he was at the hospital getting treated for a kidney stone. He entered as a defensive replacement in the second game. ... The Cubs have lost six of seven games. ... Chicago's Eric Young had an odd first game. He was called out in the sixth inning when he bunted and the ball bounced up and hit him out of the batter's box. He was hit by a pitch in the eighth but was not awarded first base because umpire Paul Schrieber ruled Young moved his elbow into the ball. ... Dennis Springer allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings for the Mets in the second game. He is believed to be the only Mets knuckleballer other than Bob Moorhead in 1965. ... The field was in good shape following more than a day of rain that caused Friday's game to be postponed, although water came up in the outfield as players ran after balls.


Baseball Scoreboard

Chicago Cubs Clubhouse

NY Mets Clubhouse

Toronto 8
NY Yankees 2

Chi. White Sox 14
Detroit 6

Cleveland 0
Boston 0

Baltimore 4
Oakland 3

Seattle 4
Kansas City 2

Tampa Bay 11
Anaheim 9

Texas 8
Minnesota 3

NY Mets 7
Chicago Cubs 6

(2nd game)

NY Mets 8
Chicago Cubs 3

Los Angeles 16
Cincinnati 2

San Diego 8
Houston 6

San Francisco 8
Arizona 6

Florida 4
Philadelphia 2

Milwaukee 7
Montreal 3

Atlanta 4
Pittsburgh 2

Colorado 7
St. Louis 6