The Atlanta Braves shoved aside sentimentality yesterday and released 43-year-old future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine.

The move was a shocker. Glavine's recovery from elbow and shoulder surgeries in September had been slow, but he had thrown 11 scoreless innings in two recent rehabilitation starts. After going six innings Tuesday night for single-A Rome (Ga.), he said he was ready to pitch in the majors again.

Atlanta made another major move yesterday, acquiring all-star centerfielder Nate McLouth from the Pittsburgh Pirates for three prospects.

Glavine, a winner of 305 career games, met yesterday with manager Bobby Cox and team executives, and was told his velocity was down, according to ESPN.com. They suggested he could retire, but he rejected the idea.

"His accomplishments for our club during his Hall of Fame career is a measure of his dedication that we will always respect and admire," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "We wish him nothing but the very best."

Glavine, who spent the first 16 years of his career with Atlanta, described himself as "very surprised" in a text message to the Associated Press. Cox called it "the hardest thing I've ever been through."

The lefthander was due a $1 million bonus if the Braves added him to the active roster. He would have received $1.25 million after 90 days.

The 27-year-old McLouth was an all-star last season and set career highs with a .276 average, 26 home runs, and 94 RBIs. The Braves needed more offense from an outfield that produced only 10 homers through the first 51 games.

Atlanta sent pitcher Charlie Morton, outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, and pitcher Jeff Locke to the Pirates for McLouth, who was hitting .256 with nine homers and 34 RBIs.

Growing the average

Houston Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada, who hasn't batted .300 in a season since 2006, is surprised to be leading the National League in hitting.

Tejada went 4 for 6 Tuesday night to raise his average to .362. He capped his night with a game-winning home run off Colorado's Josh Fogg in the 11th inning.

"I've never led the league [in hitting], not even for one day," he said. Tejada said he has hit well since manager Cecil Cooper moved him up to second in the lineup 10 games ago.

"I can wait for the pitch I want," he said.

Noteworthy

Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano hit his 54th leadoff home run Tuesday, moving ahead of Craig Biggio into second place on the all-time list behind Rickey Henderson (81). . . . Houston reliever Geoff Geary, a former Phillie, threw about 40 pitches in a simulated game as he recovers from tendinitis in his right biceps. He has been on the disabled list since May 14. . . . The Braves placed righthander Jorge Campillo on the 15-day DL for the second time this season with rotator-cuff tendinitis. . . . The Mets' game last night against the Pirates was postponed by rain and rescheduled for July 2.

Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494
This article contains information from the Associated Press.