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Glavine dominates Expos to get first Met win

4/5/2003

NEW YORK (AP) -- Tom Glavine walked off the mound to cheers
instead of boos, tipped his hat and finally relaxed.

He had won his first game with the New York Mets.

Glavine looked like the pitcher who tormented the Mets all those
years, allowing one run in 5 2/3 innings and sparking a three-run
rally with a single as New York beat the Montreal Expos 3-1
Saturday.

"It's a huge relief,'' Glavine said. "There are certain steps
along the way with a new team. A big step is getting the first win.
Now I'm here, I feel like I'm a part of the team. The first one is
the toughest one to get.''

After winning two Cy Young Awards and posting five 20-win
seasons with Atlanta, winning a game in April shouldn't be such a
big deal.

But Glavine (1-1) was frustrated with his poor debut for the
Mets, when he allowed five runs, eight hits and four walks in 3 2/3
innings of a 15-2 season-opening loss to the Chicago Cubs.

"I was a lot more comfortable today,'' said Glavine, who signed
a $35 million, three-year deal in December. "Getting the first
game out of the way helped from an emotional standpoint. Today was
just pitching -- not Opening Day, a new team and all of that.''

The left-hander was a key part of Atlanta's 11 straight division
titles, beating out New York the last eight years in the NL East.
He was 17-7 against the Mets, including a win in the 1999 NL
championship series.

Glavine was in control his second start on a 36-degree day. He
gave up five hits and no walks, while striking out five to tie Juan
Marichal for 45th place with 243 wins.

"He was mad at himself about the way he pitched his first time
out,'' Mets manager Art Howe said. "He was determined to go out
and give a better effort. This was more typical of the type of
pitcher he is.''

Cliff Floyd, another of the Mets big offseason pickups, had
three hits and an RBI to break out of a 1-for-15 slump.

"I can go home and relax a little bit instead of wondering what
the heck is wrong,'' Floyd said. "It's a long season. You don't
want to get down on yourself early.''

The Expos have been cooled down since outscoring Atlanta 17-2 in
a season-opening three-game sweep. Montreal led after every inning
against the Braves, but have been held to one run in two losses to
New York.

"We don't look the same,'' Montreal manager Frank Robinson
said. "We don't look as comfortable at the plate as we did in the
three games against Atlanta.''

Montreal had a chance to score early against Glavine, but right
fielder Jeromy Burnitz easily threw out Wil Cordero at the plate on
Brad Wilkerson's two-out single in the second.

"That was a great throw,'' Howe said. "That play gave us
momentum and we went out and scored some runs.''

Glavine then keyed New York's three-run third against Tony Armas
Jr. (1-1) with a leadoff single.

Roger Cedeno followed with a double and Roberto Alomar drove in
Glavine with a single. Floyd then hit an RBI single and Mo Vaughn
added a sacrifice fly.

Vaughn left the game after the inning with a minor strain to his
right hip flexor but said he should be back in the lineup Sunday.

Scott Strickland relieved Glavine after Vladimir Guerrero's RBI
double and retired Cordero on a flyout. Strickland pitched a
perfect seventh and Mike Stanton threw a perfect eighth before
Armando Benitez finished for his second save.

The Expos have been shut down by Glavine and David Cone the past
two days.

"We faced two veteran pitchers who used our aggressiveness
against us,'' Montreal catcher Michael Barrett said. "We're a
young club and we like to go up there and swing.''

Armas, who beat Atlanta on opening day, allowed three runs and
six hits in five innings.

Game notes
Glavine improved to 23-15 against Montreal in his career.
He has 24 wins against Cincinnati and Philadelphia, the most
against any teams. ... Mets C Mike Piazza served the final game of
a four-game suspension. Jason Phillips got his second career start
and went 1-for-3. Phillips was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after
the game and the Mets will purchase 1B Tony Clark's contract from
Norfolk on Sunday. ... Armas fell to 5-3 in his career against the
Mets, his most wins against any team. ... Burnitz hit his major
league-leading sixth double.