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Glavine allows two runs in 7 2/3 innings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Zack Greinke was too scared to speak to
Tom Glavine, so the kid just went out and tried to outpitch his
longtime idol.

It didn't work out for Kansas City's promising rookie.

Glavine took over the major league ERA lead and held Kansas City
to four hits through 7 2-3 innings, leading the New York Mets past
the Royals 5-2 Sunday.

Glavine's performance stopped the Mets' five-game losing streak
and reminded Greinke, who came in with a 1.73 ERA in his first four
major league starts, why he has always admired the two-time NL Cy
Young Award winner.

"He's been one of my top favorite players my whole life," said
the 20-year-old Greinke, the youngest player in the majors. "He
knows how to pitch. That's what I want to do someday, be like him.
He's amazing."

Glavine (7-3) lowered his ERA to 2.03, moving ahead of Houston's
Roger Clemens (2.08). Mike Piazza hit a two-run homer as the Mets
completed a 1-5 trip to Minnesota and Kansas City.

The day after getting chewed out by manager Art Howe, the Mets
played much better, although they did commit three errors, two on
bad throws by shortstop Kaz Matsui.

"We made some things happen," Howe said. "We moved some
people around, and we got some two-out hits. But we had the right
guy on the mound for us. It was an outstanding performance, to say
the least."

Glavine allowed two runs -- none earned -- in 7 2-3 innings,
striking out five and walking one.

"I didn't feel like my location was as good as it was my last
couple of starts," said Glavine, who had never faced the Royals.
"But I tried to keep battling and keep making pitches and not give
in to the count. Once we got the lead, it made things a lot
easier."

Kansas City center fielder Carlos Beltran bruised his left knee
crashing into the center-field wall trying to catch Piazza's homer.
The Royals said he probably could play Tuesday.

Greinke (1-2) allowed five runs and five hits in seven innings.
He allowed only five runs in 26 innings over his first four starts,
but Sunday's outing raised his ERA to 2.73.

"I was very impressed with him," Glavine said. "For a
20-year-old kid, he's got great mound presence. He's got good
stuff. I like the way he went about his business."

Told that Glavine had been complimentary, Greinke smiled
broadly.

"I'd be scared to talk to him," Greinke said. "I don't know
if he wants to be bothered, so I don't want to bother him. It makes
me feel good knowing he knew who I was."

New York went ahead in the fourth when Matsui singled leading
off and Piazza hit his 14th homer.

Eric Valent hit an RBI single in the fifth, and the Mets added
two runs in the seventh when Mike Cameron hit an RBI double, stole
third and scored on Jason Phillips' sacrifice fly.

Desi Relaford hit a run-scoring grounder in the seventh that
scored Joe Randa, who singled and advanced on a throwing error by
third baseman Todd Zeile.

Ken Harvey, who began the day with an AL-leading .360 average,
chased Glavine with an RBI double with two outs in the eighth.
Harvey was 2-for-13 in the series.

Braden Looper pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 14 chances,
completing the five-hitter.

Game notes
1B-DH Mike Sweeney said he's not interested in being
traded. ... The Mets wore the uniform of the 1944 New York Cubans
and the Royals the uniforms of the 1945 Kansas City Monarchs in a
salute to the Negro leagues. ... Relaford snapped an 0-for-23 skid
with his single in the second. ... New York OF Shane Spencer missed
his third straight start because of a sore shoulder. ... The Mets
are hitting .102 (6-for-59) with the bases loaded.