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New Met Olson makes impression

If Greg Olson wanted to make friends with his new Mets teammates, he found the right way to do it Tuesday afternoon.

Starting at catcher for the second time this spring, Olson nabbed Chuck Carr, the Marlins' center fielder, trying to steal second in the first inning of the Mets-Marlins game in Melbourne. And after Carr walked in the third, Olson scared Carr _ the league's No. 1 base stealer last season _ into holding tight at first.

"It was nice to get one one of my better throws off against him," Olson said after the Mets shut out the Marlins, 5-0, behind the pitching of Pete Smith, Frank Seminara, Bob Kipper and Mauro Gozzo. "He led the league in stolen bases. Those are the kind of guys you like to get."

A former member of the Mets' organization, Carr became an unpopular guy in the Mets' clubhouse after he had some less-than-nice things to say about his old team when the Marlins surpassed the Mets in the division standings last summer.

Pete Smith, the Mets' No.

3 starter, pitched four shutout innings in his second spring start as the Mets beat a Florida Marlins split squad 5-0. He has not allowed a run in seven innnings.

ATLANTA: Tony Tarasco, who is trying to become the Braves starting leftfielder, hit a three-run homer and singled as the Braves fell 7-4 to the Astros.

CHICAGO: Darron Cox executed a suicide squeeze bunt in the seventh inning to provide the winning run for Chicago. The Cubs' 5-0 record is the best in spring training.

COLORADO: Roberto Mejia homered in the fifth and Vinnie Castilla in the seventh in a 5-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

FLORIDA: Two errors by rookie third baseman Alex Aranzamendi helped the Royals load the bases before Russ McGinnis drove in Phil Hiatt and Shane Halter.

LOS ANGELES: Tests showed pitcher Mike Milchin has a strained forearm; he will continue workouts. Rookie Todd Williams has a small ligament tear in his pitching elbow. He will rest his arm and be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days.

PITTSBURGH: The Pirates cut their spring-training roster to 50 by reassigning pitchers Jeff McCurry, Urbano Lugo, Daryl Irvine, catcher Angelo Encarnacion and infielder Jose Sandoval to their minor-league camp. Meanwhile, manager Jim Leyland is worried about getting all 22 of his pitchers enough work. "There's no sense keeping 50-some people and having some of them get in the way of the players you're trying to get ready for the season," Leyland said. Alejandro Pena, who required stitches in his mouth Monday after taking a batting-practice line drive to the jaw, returned to pitch the ninth inning for a save in a 4-3 win over the Cardinals.

SAN FRANCISCO: After being tossed into a heated pennant race last season, competing for a starting job this spring is comparatively easy for pitcher Salomon Torres. "It's a lot of burden taken off my back," Torres said. "I'm just trying to make the team, not to win." Torres, who gave up three runs to the Dodgers and walked five in the 12-1 loss that cost the Giants a shot at the playoffs, made his first start and second appearance Tuesday. He gave up one run on five hits while walking two in three innings during a 9-3 win over the Padres. "I'm pleased with the way I threw, especially the last two innings," Torres said. Still, "whether Torres is ready is a big question," manager Dusty Baker said.

HOUSTON: Rookie Orlando Miller had two hits and two RBI in the Astros' victory at West Palm Beach.

MONTREAL: Shane Andrews hit a two-run homer, but the Expos lost 8-5 to Boston.

SAN DIEGO: Derrick Bell drove in the first two San Diego runs against San Francisco with a first-inning single and a sixth-inning home run. Shortstop Ricky Gutierrez had three of the Padres' 12 hits.

_ TIMES WIRES

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