Major league baseball will make another of its infrequent stops in Washington next weekend when the St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos play a pair of exhibition games at RFK Stadium. The two teams will play at 2 p.m. Friday and at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Gates will open at 10 a.m. both days to allow fans to watch home run king Mark McGwire take batting practice. He's scheduled to take his cuts at 10:30 a.m. both days.

In the second half of last season as McGwire and Sammy Sosa dueled for baseball's home run crown, McGwire's batting practices attracted thousands of fans who crowded around the outfield seats for the chance to grab one of the souvenir balls.

RFK Stadium will be restored to its full baseball configuration for the first time since the Washington Senators departed after the 1971 season. Included among the improvements is the painting of dozens of upper-deck seats marking the spots where former Senator Frank Howard hit some of his longest home runs.

Howard, now a coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, will be on hand before his current team opens the regular season against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

Some in baseball believe the Montreal Expos could call RFK their permanent home by next season. Their attempts to acquire funding for a new stadium have been unsuccessful, and baseball officials, including Commissioner Bud Selig, have said the team can't survive in Montreal without a new facility.

Northern Virginia telecommunications executive William Collins would like to buy the team and move them to Northern Virginia. A group of investors representing the District also would like to bid for the Expos.

Exhibition Baseball at RFK Stadium

What: Cardinals vs. Expos.

When: 2 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Where: RFK Stadium.

Tickets: $13, $18, $22 and $30 at RFK Stadium Box Office or by phoning Ticketmaster or Phone Charge.

D.C. Hall of Stars: Before Friday's game, Joe Gibbs, Art Monk, Joe Jacoby, Gordon Bradley, Dutch Bergman (deceased), Charlie Brotman and John Thompson will be inducted.