Milton Bradley accused Dodgers teammate Jeff Kent of a lack of leadership and an inability to deal with black players.

Bradley's remarks before last night's game against Colorado came only a couple of minutes after he said that the feud between the two that became public last weekend in Florida was a "dead issue."

"The problem is, he doesn't know how to deal with African-American people," Bradley said. " . . . It's a pattern of things that have been said -- things said off the cuff that I don't interpret as funny. It may be funny to him, but it's not funny to Milton Bradley. But I don't take offense to that because we all joke about race in here. Race is an issue with everything we do in here."

Bradley did not like what Kent said to him after Bradley failed to score from first base on a double in Saturday's victory over the Marlins. Bradley initiated a 25-minute closed-door meeting with Manager Jim Tracy after that game.

Kent, a former NL MVP who feuded with Barry Bonds in San Francisco, defended himself after Bradley's comments.

"He can go ahead and say those types of things, and it comes from an incident that he still doesn't get. And that's a shame," Kent said.

* DUKE INJURED: Pirates LHP Zach Duke (6-0) sprained his left ankle running the bases last night and was taken out after two innings against the Cardinals.

Manager Lloyd McClendon, interviewed on Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh's telecast, said Duke felt "something pop" in the ankle. There was no immediate word on how long he would be out.

-- From News Services

Unbeaten Pirates rookie left-hander Zach Duke suffered a sprained left ankle going after his seventh straight win last night.