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SPRING BALL TURNS INTO BEANBALL

Larry Walker and the Colorado Rockies will have to wait a while before they can settle their differences with Sterling Hitchcock and the San Diego Padres.

Walker and Hitchcock were ejected after the benches cleared Sunday in the Padres' 10-6 win over the Rockies at Tucson, Ariz.

Walker, upset that Hitchcock plunked Rockies pitcher John Thomson earlier in the fifth inning, began approaching the mound when he was hit in the right shoulder by a pitch.

The NL MVP flipped his bat in Hitchcock's direction, but was held back by Padres catcher Greg Myers. The benches emptied, but no punches were thrown.

"I got rid of my stick, but I had trouble getting my gloves off," said Walker, who played junior hockey in Canada. "I was going for a double minor. I didn't want a major."

"This team has a memory," Rockies manager Don Baylor said. "We'll face him again sometime during the season, and we'll take care of it ourselves."

The Rockies and Padres do not meet again in spring training. They play 12 times in the regular season, all after the All-Star break.

There was also an exchange of hit batters between the Mets and the Dodgers.

Los Angeles starter Ramon Martinez hit two Mets in a 5-3 victory. In what appeared to be retaliation, Martinez was hit by Met starter Brian Bohannon, who received a warning.

"I am tired of him hitting our players," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "He has better control than he's shown when he pitches against us."

The incidents overshadowed another strong performance by Martinez (3-0, 1.63 earned-run average), who pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs -- one earned -- on six hits.

Throwing zeroes

With opening day just over a week away, the pitching news was good on most fronts but bad for Seattle.

David Cone of the New York Yankees, Roger Clemens of the Toronto Blue Jays, Tom Glavine of the Atlanta Braves, Jaret Wright of the Cleveland Indians, Bob Tewksbury of the Minnesota Twins and Francisco Cordova of the Pittsburgh Pirates had shutout stints.

The Mariners were forced to place No. 2 starter Jeff Fassero on the 15-day disabled list because of an inflammation in his left elbow.

Clemens, Cone and Glavine were the most impressive, each going seven innings. Clemens allowed one hit with seven strikeouts against Cincinnati, Cone allowed two hits with five strikeouts against Texas, and Glavine gave up two hits against Detroit.

Wright pitched five shutout innings of one-hit ball as the Cleveland Indians beat the Marlins, 6-0.

Wright is back for his first full season in the majors. He is expected to follow Charles Nagy in the rotation, but the Indians clearly see him as their ace of the future -- maybe even the present.

"We've got a potential front of the rotation starter in Jaret," general manager John Hart said. "We've just got to finish him off."

"I'm a little concerned about Jeff," Mariners manager Lou Piniella said of Fassero. "I would assume he'll miss his first two starts."

Fassero was 16-9 with a 3.61 ERA last season.

Cone needed only 83 pitches in a seven-inning outing against the potent Texas lineup in a 2-0 Yankees victory at Legends Field.

"I'm ready to go," Cone declared.

Herd comes up short

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Despite hitting four home runs, the Buffalo Bisons remained winless in exhibition play as the New Orleans Zephyrs beat the Herd, 11-7.

Catcher Sean Mulligan, first baseman Chan Perry and infielders Bill Selby and Brandon Wilson all homered for the Herd (0-3-1). Starter Marcus Moore took the loss despite giving up just one earned run in three innings.

The Bisons play an intrasquad game today and face the Omaha Royals on Tuesday.

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