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Ageless Glavine gives Mets rare reason to smile

5/3/2003

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Tom Glavine's success never seems to surprise
anyone, even at age 37 and in his 17th full season in the major
leagues.

Glavine pitched seven strong innings, Cliff Floyd hit a two-run
homer and the New York Mets ended their five-game losing streak by
beating the struggling Milwaukee Brewers 9-3 Friday night.

"That's why he's going to the Hall of Fame,'' Milwaukee catcher
Keith Osik said of Glavine.

The left-hander benefited from a 15-hit outburst and three
unearned runs in handing the Brewers their sixth straight loss and
ninth in 10 games. Milwaukee is an NL-worst 9-20 overall and 4-10
at home.

"Tommy did a fine job of pitching, traditional Glavine,'' Mets
manager Art Howe said. "He moved the ball in and out and changed
speeds.''

Former Mets pitcher Glendon Rusch (1-5), who had allowed only
one earned run in 14 innings against his former team, threw 34
pitches in the first inning and was hurt by three infield errors --
one in each of the first three innings.

The Mets made it easy for Glavine (4-2) by taking an early 5-0
lead. They scored unearned runs in each of the first two innings,
the first on an RBI double by Mike Piazza and the second on a
single by Roberto Alomar, who snapped an 0-for-21 slump.

Piazza walked to start the third and Floyd hit his third home
run of the season to make it 4-0. Ty Wigginton followed with a
double and scored on Glavine's grounder up the middle that was
ruled an error against second baseman Eric Young.

That was more than enough support for Glavine, who gave up eight
hits, four in the seventh. He allowed a solo home run to Young in
the sixth and a two-run homer to Wes Helms in the seventh.

Geoff Jenkins opened the seventh with a single but was thrown
out at the plate trying to score on a double by Brady Clark, who
scored on the homer by Helms.

Glavine struck out three and walked none. He faced 26 batters,
five over the minimum, before being replaced by Mike Stanton to
start the eighth. Glavine threw only 83 pitches, and Stanton
finished with two perfect innings.

"That's vintage Tom Glavine,'' said Milwaukee manager Ned Yost,
who was on the Atlanta coaching staff from 1991-2002 and worked
with Glavine all those years.

Rusch was pulled after throwing 102 pitches through four
innings. He allowed five runs -- two earned -- and seven hits and
left knowing the hole was too big to climb out of against Glavine.

"He's always tough,'' Rusch said. "He's the best left-handed
pitcher in baseball over a long period of time. Obviously, he
doesn't have overpowering stuff, but he knows how to pitch.''

Milwaukee pitcher and pinch-hitter Brooks Kieschnick made his
pitching debut in relief, retiring the side in order in the fifth
before giving up three runs and four hits, including a two-run
double by Wigginton, in the sixth.

Kieschnick pitched in an afternoon game Wednesday at Triple-A
Indianapolis and pinch-hit later that day for the Brewers.

"Tonight we got on board early,'' Glavine said. "As a pitcher,
it makes your job easier. You just go out there, throw strikes and
try to get the inning over as quickly as you can.''

Wigginton was 4-for-5, the second four-hit game of his career.
The first came Aug. 5, 2002, against Arizona.

"It was a good night offensively and we finally broke through
with some runs,'' Howe said, "and Tommy gave us seven quality
innings.''

Game notes
Mets reliever John Franco, recovering from surgery on his
left elbow, threw during batting practice. Franco, 42, is No. 1
among active players with 422 saves. ... The Mets were 5-1 against
Milwaukee in 2002 and are 29-9 all-time against the Brewers, who
joined the NL in 1998. ... Osik singled in the third, his first hit
at home after going 0-for-21 at Miller Park. ... Jenkins singled in
the seventh to snap an 0-for-18 skid.

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