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Glavine records shutout win as Mets sweep Pirates

NEW YORK (AP) -- This was a mismatch.

Pitching with the savvy accumulated in 19 major league seasons,
Tom Glavine baffled the young Pittsburgh Pirates with an assortment
of off-speed pitches in a 6-0 victory Thursday night. He allowed
three hits and struck out 10 over seven innings for the 279th
victory of his career.

Afterward, he considered his condition and decided it wasn't too
bad for a 40-year-old.

"I feel good physically," he said. "Everything's comfortable.
You should pitch well when that's the case. It's fun. I enjoy
pitching. There's a bunch of things I can do to get guys out. It's
a continuation comfort-wise of where I was the second part of last
season."

It was anything but comfortable for the Pirates, who didn't have
a hit until the fifth inning. Manager Jim Tracy marveled at the
left-hander's performance.

"Tommy Glavine used his changeup very well, very effectively"
Tracy said. "He threw it in hitter's counts."

That's one of Glavine's secrets. He won't give in, no matter
what. In the sixth inning, with New York leading 1-0, Pittsburgh
loaded the bases on a couple of errors and Glavine fell behind
Craig Wilson 3-0.

"I'd rather walk in a run there than give up a double,"
Glavine said. "On 3-1, they're more aggressive. I try to feed off
their aggression."

Glavine forced the count to 3-2 and then Wilson flied out,
ending the threat. An inning later, the Mets scored five runs,
three on a home run by Xavier Nady, to break the game open.

Nady drove in four runs and David Wright had four hits, one
night after ending an 0-for-17 skid.

The NL East-leading Mets (19-9) swept the two-game series and
won for the seventh time in nine games. They are 10 games over .500
for the first time since the end of 2000, according to the Elias
Sports Bureau. New York won the NL pennant that year.

It was Glavine's second double-digit strikeout game in seven
starts this year. He lowered his ERA to 1.94.

"The strikeouts are a little abnormal for me," Glavine said.
"I'd rather use one pitch and get a groundball. Strikeouts are too
hard. I was able to locate and use my changeup on both sides of the
plate."

Glavine (4-2) was especially sharp early, retiring the first 12
Pirates in order, striking out seven. Then he pitched his way out
of bases-loaded jams in the fifth and sixth.

He got some breathing room in the seventh when Nady hit a
three-run homer. Duaner Sanchez and Jorge Julio completed the
four-hitter, New York's second shutout this season. Sanchez pushed
his scoreless streak to 22 innings dating to last year with the
Dodgers -- including 19 this season.

Mets pitchers struck out 14 Pirates for the second consecutive
night. Pittsburgh (8-22) dropped to 2-15 on the road and was held
to three runs or fewer for the 16th time in 18 games.

Jason Bay broke up Glavine's no-hit bid with a two-strike single
to right leading off the fifth.

After Jeromy Burnitz struck out, Wilson beat out an infield hit.
The runners advanced on an infield out and, after Jose Castillo was
intentionally walked to load the bases, Glavine struck out pitcher
Paul Maholm, ending the inning.

Then Glavine escaped bases-loaded trouble in the sixth when he
got Wilson on a fly ball.

The Mets took the lead in the third against Maholm (1-4) when
they loaded the bases with no outs on singles by Paul Lo Duca and
Wright sandwiched around a walk to Carlos Beltran.

Nady walked, forcing in the game's first run. But Maholm
recovered, retiring the next three batters to leave the bases
loaded.

In the seventh, Lo Duca reached on a throwing error by third
baseman Freddy Sanchez. He went to third on Beltran's single and
scored on Wright's single off reliever Salomon Torres. Nady then
hit his seventh home run to center on a 2-0 pitch.

After Cliff Floyd was hit by a pitch, he advanced on an infield
out and scored on a single by pinch-hitter Jose Valentin.

The seven innings left Glavine two short of 4,000 for his
career.

Game notes
1B Julio Franco made his first start of the season for the
Mets and went 0-for-4. ... Glavine's second-inning single was his
fourth hit of the season in nine at-bats. ... The Mets left seven
runners on base in the first three innings. ... Maholm became the
sixth Pirates starter in the last eight games to go at least six
innings. He threw 102 pitches, 62 for strikes. ... The four RBI by
Nady tied his career high. ... Both benches were warned after
Torres hit Floyd with a pitch following Nady's home run.