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Glavine looks solid for Braves

POSTED: March 23, 2008 5:01 a.m.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. Tom Glavine, back with Atlanta where his career began, pitched well in his third spring start. Washington’s John Patterson, who is also trying to recapture the past, was just as good or better.

Glavine, who re-signed with the Braves after five seasons with the New York Mets, allowed just two hits in four innings Tuesday night, limiting the Nationals to an unearned run.

Patterson, meanwhile, showed some of the form he had in 2005 before arm problems wrecked the past two seasons. He pitched three scoreless innings, striking out three and giving up three singles.

The game ended at 2-2 after 11 innings. The Braves tied the game with two outs in the ninth inning on a two-run single by Joe Borchard.

Glavine, who turns 42 on March 25, had struggled in his previous start, while Patterson, 30, had been rained out.

"It was a better effort mentally and physically," said Glavine, who has always tried to out-think hitters. "I had good location and used all my pitches."

The run off Glavine came on a double by Bret Boone, a former Atlanta teammate, after an error by first baseman Mark Teixeira kept the third inning alive.

Glavine, who won his 300th game with the Mets last year, struck out four and walked two. The other hit off him was a double by Wily Mo Pena in the fourth inning. The left-hander threw 71 pitches.

"Tommy was outstanding," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He looked super. Real sharp."

Patterson showed off the big curveball that helped him post a 3.13 ERA and 9-7 record in 2005. That was before a nerve problem that required two surgeries and limited the right-hander to 15 starts the past two seasons, when he was 2-7.

"It felt good," Patterson said. "My curveball was there and I was more comfortable with my cutter."

Patterson, who threw 60 pitches, is still building back arm strength, but he may be a prime candidate to start the season opener in the Nationals’ new ballpark on March 30 against the Braves.

"That’s a big day," Patterson said. "It’s going to be a really important day for Washington and I would like to have that start. I think it would be a great honor to earn that, especially after everything that has gone on the last couple of years."

Notes: Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was removed in the sixth inning as a precaution after experiencing right hip-flexor tightness. . . . Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar, batting .500, extended his hitting streak to 10 games. But he also committed his third error in the past four games. . . . Felipe Lopez had two hits for the Nationals and was robbed of a homer by Braves left fielder Matt Diaz leading off the game. . . . Braves closer Rafael Soriano threw a bullpen session Tuesday and hopes to make his spring debut Thursday against Detroit. He has missed time because of the flu and a tender elbow. . . . Union chief Donald Fehr met with the Braves on Tuesday as part of his annual spring training tour. . . . With Mike Hampton pitching in a simulated game, Buddy Carlyle will start for the Braves against Cleveland on Wednesday night. Hampton is taking it cautiously after leaving his last start with a groin strain. . . . Mike O’Connor is the Nationals scheduled starter on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Vero Beach.



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