RECEIVING APOLOGY: Admitting he'd made a mistake, Yankees C Jorge Posada apologized to umpire Greg Kosc's crew on Monday.

A day earlier, after Kosc left in the seventh inning because of heat exhaustion, Posada said, "The bottom line is the guys are not in shape."

When Posada read his comments in the newspaper the following day, however, he realized he was wrong.

"I said something I shouldn't have said," Posada said. "There was a lot of frustration built up. I'm going to tell the guy I'm sorry. Hopefully, he's here today."

But Kosc was not present when Posada made his apology before the Yankees lost to the Orioles, 9-1. Having been hospitalized Sunday on the extremely humid afternoon, he was sent home for further tests.

After talking to Posada, crew chief Larry Barnett said the whole matter was "a dead issue."

SPENCER HOSPITALIZED: Yankees OF Shane Spencer remained hospitalized yesterday at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center where he is undergoing heart tests. Spencer left Friday night's game against the Orioles with dizziness after striking out in the sixth inning. Team physician Stuart Hershon said Spencer is in good shape and has been taking medication. . . .

After a series of running drills, Braves C Javy Lopez said he hopes to return to the starting lineup after next week's all-star break. Lopez, on the DL since June 23 with a sprained right knee, was eligible to be activated yesterday.

ROJAS RELEASED: The Expos released RHP Mel Rojas yesterday after their former closer decided he'd rather take the rest of the season off than try to regain his form in the minors. In three appearances this season, Rojas has given up five runs in 2 2/3 innings.