Glavine, Milton face off

The Mets and Reds play the second game of the season Wednesday with a matchup of quality left-handers, as Tom Glavine heads to the hill opposite Eric Milton.

Glavine has been a Red-killer through his lengthy career, especially in Cincinnati. He was 16-4 with a 3.24 ERA at the Reds' old home, Cinergy Field, and is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts at the Great American Ballpark.

Of the players on Cincinnati's Opening Day roster, Glavine has had the most experience dealing with infielder Rich Aurilia, battling him for 39 at-bats. Aurilia has been the victor, raking Glavine for 13 hits and a homer, compiling a .333 clip.

Adam Dunn – who homered twice in Monday's season opener – has also had notable success against Glavine, reaching the control artist for six hits in 13 at-bats, including a home run.

Milton, 29, is making his National League debut after signing a three-year, $25.5 million contract with Cincinnati over the winter. He is 0-1 with a 4.71 ERA in four starts lifetime against the Mets, and has faced both Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron – former division opponents when Milton was with the Minnesota Twins – extensively.

In 41 at-bats, Cameron is hitting .244 with three home runs and six RBI against Milton, while Cameron is batting .207 with two home runs and six RBI in 29 at-bats.

Santiago on tap: MLB.com reports that the Mets are heavily considering using Jose Santiago to start in place of Kris Benson, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle.

Santiago, 30, was instructed to pitch in a simulated game Tuesday for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides, which would put him in line to take Benson's start Saturday at Atlanta.

Santiago joined the Mets late in spring training after a deal to play in Japan fell through, ironically because the club Santiago would have pitched for, the Fukuoka Hawks, signed former Met Pedro Feliciano. He last pitched in the majors in 2003 with the Cleveland Indians, going 1-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 25 appearances.

Santiago spent most of 2004 pitching for Triple-A Charlotte in the Chicago White Sox organization, going 9-9 with a 4.34 ERA in 57 games (one start).


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