<i> Times Wire Services</i>

New York Met pitcher Sid Fernandez, who sat out nearly all of last season because of wrist and knee injuries, left Friday’s start against the New York Yankees during the first inning because of another knee problem.

Fernandez faced only three batters. The Mets said Fernandez had fluid on the knee and would undergo tests. Results were expected today, the team said.

Two weeks ago, Fernandez was clipped by a golf cart while playing near the Mets’ training camp,. But Fernandez pitched without pain Sunday against the Yankees, giving up four runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings. After that game, unhappy with his performance, Fernandez ripped a bullpen gate off the fence.

Fernandez underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee Sept. 7. Some of Fernandez’s knee problems were blamed on his excessive weight, and he lost about 40 pounds during the off-season and reported to camp at 215 pounds.


Thieves in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, stole and burned the car belonging to the prosecutor in the involuntary murder case of Milwaukee Brewer pitcher Julio Machado, who is charged with the shooting death of a Venezuelan woman.

Police quoted by the Venpres news service said three men stole the parked car of prosecutor Norma Cosenza, drove it to a secluded spot and set it on fire before escaping in a van.

Machado, after spending two months in jail in connection with the shooting, was granted conditional freedom last week while he awaits trial, but he was forbidden to leave Venezuela.

Machado, 26, is accused in the death of Edicta Vasquez on Dec. 8 during a dispute after a traffic accident. He has admitted firing the shots but says he did it in self-defense, fearing a robbery.


Brewer Manager Phil Garner met with Gary Sheffield about the third baseman’s allegations that he was forced to play last season despite an injury. Garner declined to discuss details of the meeting.

Sheffield said Thursday that he was unhappy with the one-year contract he signed before spring training and was pressured to play last season before undergoing shoulder surgery, he said.

“People tell you they care about you but the first time you get hurt, it changes,” he had said. “I’ve seen that side now and it’s an ugly side.”