Switch Doesn't Pay Off

Mets manager Art Howe shifted his pitching rotation last week so that Tom Glavine, sporting the best ERA in the Majors, would miss the Yankees over the weekend, facing journeyman Paul Abbott and the division-leading Phillies instead. <P> It was a good idea gone awry. Glavine picked an inopportune time to turn in a clunker, a six-run, ten-hit affair as the Mets saw their four-game winning streak snapped with a 6-5 loss at Citizens Bank Ballpark Monday.

For Glavine, it was a waste of some of the best run support he's had in weeks, as the Mets brought home three runs in the top of the first inning on a two-run home run by Cliff Floyd and a solo blast from Richard Hidalgo, the fifth straight day Hidalgo has homered.

But Glavine wound up giving it all back, partially due to a tight strike zone from plate umpire Jim Reynolds, who didn't seem to give Glavine the inside corner.

The Phillies collected eight of their ten hits off Glavine in the first two innings, including a run-scoring single by Pat Burrell that came one pitch after Glavine thought he'd struck out Burrell looking to end the first inning.

Trailing 6-3, the Mets drew closer in the fifth when Floyd ripped a two-run single, but four Philadelphia relievers – led by winning pitcher Ryan Madson (6-2) – did the job the rest of the way, holding the Mets to two hits while striking out seven over 4-1/3 innings.

SOLID SCOTT: Scott Erickson made his second straight solid start for Triple-A Norfolk, allowing a run on six hits over five innings. With Matt Ginter struggling, look for the Mets to entertain the idea of recalling Erickson sometime over the next couple of weeks.

INJURY UPDATES: Mike Cameron (knee, groin) pinch-hit in the ninth inning but has not started since the Mets' series at Cincinnati last week.

Vance Wilson (hamstring) and Karim Garcia (wrist) each played for the Binghamton Mets at Erie last night. Wilson went 1-for-3 with a home run and Garcia was 0-for-3. Wilson is eligible to be activated, while Garcia must wait until Friday. Scott Strickland (Tommy John surgery) pitched a scoreless inning for St. Lucie.

NOTES: Hidalgo became the first Met to homer in five consecutive games. Several players homered in four straight for the club, most recently Edgardo Alfonzo from Apr. 23-26, 2001. … Kaz Matsui has hits in his last four games and 8 of his last 10.


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