Sanders was removed from the lineup March 17 because of
abdominal pain. He had surgery the following day, and spent two
days in the hospital before being released.
"I still feel a little weak but I expect to be at full strength
opening day," Sanders said. As for the solo home run in the third
inning, Sanders said with a smile, "It sure felt good."
Sanders, who hit .260 with 22 home runs and 67 RBI with the
Cardinals last season, said he started light workouts five days
after having surgery.
Manager Tony La Russa thinks Sanders should be ready for the
"He still has some work to do but I expect him to be ready,"
La Russa said.
Starters Matt Morris and Kris Benson were roughed up. Morris,
who had offseason shoulder surgery, gave up five runs -- four earned
-- and seven hits in four innings. And Benson allowed seven runs --
two earned -- in 5 2-3 innings for New York.
"It was a tough day to pitch for everybody. Matt wasn't as
sharp as he has been," La Russa said.
The Cardinals have three off days in the first two weeks of the
season so Morris will stay in Jupiter and pitch with the Class A
Palm Beach Cardinals.
Carlos Beltran went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Mets second baseman
Kaz Matsui drove in three runs and was 1-for-4.