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Glavine pain-free in start for Braves

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Tom Glavine knows the end of his career is in sight and he wants to leave on his own terms.

The Atlanta Braves lefty pitched three pain-free innings against his former team in his first start this spring, allowing two hits Saturday in a 12-1 win over the New York Mets.

Glavine had thrown a simulated game Monday and said he felt as though he'd be ready to join the rotation in about a month.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner has 305 wins, but he started a career-low 13 games last year, going 2-4 before his season was cut short due to elbow surgery. Glavine, who will turn 43 on Wednesday, contemplated retirement but said he wasn't quite finished.

'Last year was not a lot of fun,' Glavine said. 'I enjoy the nervousness I get when I get ready to make a start. Last year I was nervous because I was wondering how I would get through it. I enjoy doing this and knowing I can get guys out. I didn't feel that way last year.'

Braves manager Bobby Cox said he couldn't be more pleased.

'He will get even stronger,' Cox said. 'It doesn't matter how hard he throws because he isn't about that. He's right on schedule.'

Glavine said he was comfortable on the mound, something he didn't feel last year despite being in professional baseball since 1984.

'I just want to be comfortable,' Glavine said. 'I checked the radar, I was about 80, 81 (mph). If I can get it to 85 I know I will be ready. Coming back from surgery I need to just get comfortable. I have pitched something like 4,000 innings and I just needed some extra work. I know what I am doing out there.'

Mets starter John Maine is also coming off an operation. His season ended last August because of a shoulder injury and he finished 10-8 with a 4.18 ERA. He had surgery Sept. 30 to shave a bone spur in his right shoulder.

Against the Braves, Maine allowed five runs and six hits in four innings but said he felt no pain.

'I am a work in progress,' Maine said. 'I am still working on a lot of things but I feel like I just want to put up some zeros. It's just not happening. I am still a little bit out of sync. I am just trying so hard to come back.'

The Braves jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Brandon Jones scored on a sacrifice fly. They scored four more in the third, highlighted by a three-run double from Jeff Francoeur.

Jones and Francoeur each had two hits for the Braves, and Josh Anderson added a pinch-hit homer.