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AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE

Friday, March 25, 2005; Page D10

Randy Johnson pitched like an Opening Day starter, then was given the honor of making his first start in pinstripes the Yankees' opener.

Johnson learned that he will start April 3 against Boston after he gave up one hit over six scoreless innings yesterday, and Derek Jeter went 2 for 3 in his return from a foot injury to lift the Yankees to a 12-2 win over the Braves.

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"I'd like to check it out because she got an eye-opener last time she went on there. She has a lot of fun with it, and Howard's group's been calling her ever since she left the first time to come back on."

-- Mets pitcher Kris Benson, who said he'll be listening today when his wife, Anna, is a guest on Howard Stern's radio show

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"It's a big upset," New York Manager Joe Torre said jokingly. "He basically pitched today like he's going to pitch. He's been doing it for years. It's nice to see him do it in our uniform. It seemed so effortless for him today."

It will be Johnson's 13th Opening Day assignment, tying Houston's Roger Clemens for the most among active pitchers. The major league record is 16 by Tom Seaver.

"It's the first game of the season, but eventually the other four starting pitchers and their first game is Opening Day for them," Johnson said. "So I've always tried to downplay it, but I enjoy it and respect it for everything that it is." . . .

Juan Gonzalez hit his third home run of the spring, and just missed connecting for two others to lead the Indians to an 8-0 win over the Dodgers. "Juan had some good swings," Indians Manager Eric Wedge said. "He just missed on a couple, too." . . .

The Mets' Mike Cameron played his first game since having wrist surgery and moved to right field to accommodate new center fielder Carlos Beltran. Cameron went 1 for 3 and lost a ball in the overcast sky in a 6-3 loss to the Tigers.

-- From News Services


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