NEW YORK (AP) -- The last time Tom Glavine was on the mound, he watched with concern as Carlos Beltran left the field after a frightening collision in the outfield.
On Wednesday night, Glavine and the rest of the New York Mets got to see what Beltran can do when he is feeling healthy.Beltran scored in his first two plate appearances after returning from the injury, leading Glavine and the Mets over the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1.Robbed of his speed for much of the first half of the season because of a nagging thigh injury, Beltran scored from first base on a single in his first plate appearance and then stole a base and scored his second time up."When you have a guy like that, it makes a big difference," Glavine said. "I don't care if he's hot or he's not hot, or he's having the kind of year that people want him to or not. You know as a pitcher he always has the potential to have that kind of game."David Wright and Jose Offerman each hit two-run singles for the Mets, who learned Wednesday that catcher Mike Piazza would miss at least a few games with a broken bone in his left hand after being hit by a foul ball Tuesday night.Beltran's successful return gave New York some good news on the injury front for a change. It came only six days after his head-to-head collision with right fielder Mike Cameron in a loss at San Diego that left him with a concussion and a facial fracture.Despite the injury, Beltran vowed not to play with any fear when he returned."I can't be playing like that," he said. "You've got to go out there and play the game the way it's supposed to be. I'm not really thinking about something happening."A day after opting not to have surgery, Beltran reached base three times to help the Mets to their 12th win in their last 15 home games. Cliff Floyd was on all four times, hitting two singles and being walked intentionally twice.Beltran immediately showed that he lost none of his speed during his time off. He drew a two-out walk in the first and raced home on Floyd's single into the right-center gap, beating the throw home without having to slide and tying the game at 1.He used his speed to score the go-ahead run in the fourth. He led off with a bunt single and stole second. Floyd was intentionally walked, and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Wright followed with a single to left for a 3-1 lead."He gave us a nice little spark," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "That's something we haven't really seen a whole lot of this year. One of the things that's real, real big about his game is his speed. When he starts to make things happen on the basepaths, it
gives us a totally different dimension."Glavine (9-10) scattered nine hits in seven-plus innings, improving to 20-12 against the Pirates and moving into sole possession of 30th place on the career wins list with his 271st."When he's got that change and sinker going, he can cause havoc, especially with young hitters," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He had good stuff tonight, he did a good job of moving the ball around. This guy doesn't have all those wins that he has by mistake."Aaron Heilman replaced Glavine with runners on second and third and none out in the eighth and got the final six outs for his first save.Jason Bay homered and doubled for the Pirates, who fell to 2-10 on the road against NL East teams. Josh Fogg (6-8) allowed five runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings.The Mets added two more runs in the sixth. Miguel Cairo led off with a double, and after Beltran was retired for the only time on a fly to center, Floyd walked intentionally again. Salomon Torres replaced Fogg and walked Wright to load the bases before Offerman's single to right made it 5-1.Bay hit his 24th homer in the first inning.
The Mets recalled catcher Mike Jacobs from Double-A Binghamton to back up Ramon Castro while Piazza is out. ... Beltran had only one putout, Fogg's fly to center in the fifth. ... Wednesday was the 18th anniversary of Glavine's major-league debut for Atlanta against Houston. ... Mets first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Class-A St. Lucie but was scratched because of the flu.