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Mets hoping Beltran can make opener

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The New York Mets outlined a plan for Carlos Beltran on Thursday that will hopefully have the All-Star outfielder ready for opening day.

Beltran, who has been hampered by left knee tendinitis, has not yet played the outfield in a major league game this spring. But as a first step in the process, he played in a simulated game Thursday, fielding balls in right field, hitting and running the bases full speed. He will do the same Friday before competing in a minor league game Saturday. The team will then re-evaluate the plan.

"I just wanted to come here today and test it kind of like a simulated game," Beltran said. "Actually, this is more than we do in the game, but I just wanted to test the knee, and hopefully tomorrow I recuperate, feeling good."

The 33-year-old Beltran played minor league games the previous two days but focused only on hitting. The simulated games were meant to create demanding situations.

General Manager Sandy Alderson said there is no rush to enter Beltran into a major league game, and his progression will be based on a day-by-day evaluation.

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'Clear' topic at trial

SAN FRANCISCO -- One of the world's foremost experts in detecting performance-enhancing drug use among athletes recounted on Thursday for the Barry Bonds jury how authorities unmasked the designer steroid dubbed the "clear."

Bonds has admitted using the steroid, but said his personal trainer misled him into believing it was flaxseed oil.

Larry Bowers, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's chief scientist, told the jury Thursday that his agency anonymously received a syringe with trace amounts of liquid in the summer of 2003. Scientists using highly technical chemical-detection equipment came up with a recipe for the liquid. Using the recipe, the agency had a batch ginned up and injected into baboons on their way to developing a urine test for the steroid, also called "THG," that was put in place by 2003.

A chemist named Patrick Arnold developed the steroid to evade detection and it was distributed to elite athletes by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative and Bonds' personal trainer Greg Anderson.

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Bisons top Memphis

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Buffalo Bisons won their second straight spring exhibition game, defeating the Memphis Redbirds, 2-1, Thursday.

Jason Pridie had an RBI double for the Herd (2-5) and then scored the game-winning run on a single by Fernando Martinez.

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