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Glavine improves to 2-8 against Braves

NEW YORK (AP) -- Tom Glavine really wanted to finish his start --
and not because of who he was facing.

Glavine pitched a six-hitter to beat his former team and Cliff
Floyd hit his career-high 32nd homer, leading the New York Mets
over the Atlanta Braves 4-1 Sunday.

Glavine (11-13) got Jeff Francoeur to bounce back to the mound
to finish his 54th career complete game and his first since a 4-0
victory over Colorado on May 23, 2004. He was pleased with being
able to go the distance in his 273rd career win.

"Not because of my personal relationship with them, but because
they're a good team," Glavine said. "Any time you get a complete
game against anybody it's nice, particularly against a first-place
club that's had success against you."

Victor Diaz and Carlos Beltran each added an RBI double during a
four-run sixth inning, helping the Mets end another frustrating
season against their NL East rivals by taking two of three over the
weekend. Atlanta won the season series 13-6, its fifth straight
year with double-digit victories against New York.

No Met had been more frustrated by the Braves than Glavine, who
entered 1-8 with a 7.85 ERA in 11 career appearances against the
team he won two Cy Young Awards with. But he snapped a personal
three-game losing streak and won for the first time since Aug. 22.

"It's nice to see him kind of even things out 'cause he's
struggled against them in the past," Mets manager Willie Randolph
said.

Glavine outpitched John Thomson, who had only one bad inning.
But that was enough to keep him winless since May 5. The
right-hander is 0-3 in six starts since missing nearly three months
with an injured middle finger.

"They came out aggressive in that inning," Thomson said.
"Three first-pitch fastballs and they were right on them."

The Braves lost for the fifth time in seven games. They began
the day with a five-game lead over Philadelphia, and host the
Phillies in a three-game series starting Tuesday.

Thomson (3-5) took a three-hitter into the sixth before allowing
the first four batters to score. Jose Reyes drew a leadoff walk and
scored on Diaz's double. Beltran followed with another run-scoring
double before Floyd hit the next pitch over the 396-foot sign in
right-center for his 200th homer and a 4-1 lead.

"I always believe hitting is contagious," Floyd said. "You
start getting a couple of hits, you don't go up there thinking. You
put the pitcher in a bind. Once you get somebody having to think a
little bit, then you've got him."

The Braves quickly put runners at the corners to open the
seventh, but Glavine struck out Brian Jordan and got Johnny Estrada
to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Marcus Giles hit his second homer in two days in the sixth, but
the only other trouble for Glavine came in the fifth, when the
Braves had runners on second and third with one out. But after
Jordan popped out, Glavine intentionally walked Estrada and fanned
Thomson.

Glavine lost to the Braves on April 27 when he yielded seven
runs and 12 hits in 4 1-3 innings. That was during a dismal start
to the season, when he opened 1-4.

"I had a lot of people pouring dirt on my grave earlier in the
year," he said.

But Glavine has worked at making his routine less predictable,
and the results have come. He has allowed three earned runs or
fewer in eight straight starts -- though he is only 3-4 during that
span because of the Mets' inconsistent offense -- and the Braves
certainly seemed fooled on Sunday.

"He was pretty good," Giles said. "He's mixing in a curveball
now. Every time I played behind him he never had a curveball."

The Mets had runners at the corners with none out in the second,
but Mike Piazza flied out and Thomson struck out rookies Mike
Jacobs and Anderson Hernandez.

Hernandez made his major league debut after being called up
Saturday. He went 0-for-4, flying out to center with the bases
loaded in the eighth.

Game notes
There was a moment of silence before the game for Donn
Clendenon, the MVP of the Mets' 1969 World Series victory who died
Saturday at 70 after a long battle with leukemia. ... Braves CF
Andruw Jones' single in the fifth snapped an 0-for-14 slump since
he hit his 50th homer Wednesday at Philadelphia. ... Piazza was
robbed of a hit with a diving catch for the second straight day
when Jordan caught his line drive to left in the fourth. Piazza hit
a liner to center Saturday that appeared to hit the grass just
before Jones grabbed it with a lunge. ... Both Mets wins in the
series were complete games -- Pedro Martinez blanked the Braves in
the opener.