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Mac To Miss First Spring Game

Mark McGwire will not be in the lineup when the St. Louis Cardinals open their spring schedule Friday.

McGwire, who set a major league record with 70 home runs last season, won't make the 90-minute bus ride to Vero Beach, Fla., for the exhibition game against the Los Angeles Dodgers but intends to play in home games at Jupiter on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Monday. The Cardinals play the Montreal Expos in the weekend games, and the Houston Astros on Monday.

"McGwire will probably get two at-bats in the early games, maybe three if the game moves quickly," La Russa said. "He prefers it that way, too, rather than have four or five at-bats one day and then take a day off."

Shortstop Edgar Renteria, acquired in a trade with the Florida Marlins Dec. 7, is still nursing a right knee sprain and bone bruise from last year and is being held out of action as a precautionary measure.

"We're just being patient with Renteria," trainer Barry Weinberg said. "The main thing is for him to be ready when the regular season opens."

Renteria is working out regularly but has the knee iced down each day after practice.

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