LOS ANGELES (AP)—By his own admission, Tom Glavine wasn’t very good in his quest to become baseball’s first nine-game winner.
Thanks to the New York Mets’ offense, he was good enough.
Glavine pitched 5 1-3 shaky innings in his shortest and least effective outing of the season and Carlos Beltran and David Wright each had three hits for the Mets in a 9-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Rookie Lastings Milledge tripled and homered, drove in three runs and made a key defensive play for the Mets, who won two of three in the series and are 13-5 with two ties in their 20 series this season.
Glavine (9-2) allowed seven hits and six runs before being relieved by Chad Bradford with one on and one out in the sixth and the Mets leading 7-6.
“It wasn’t pretty, but I’ll take it,” the 40-year-old left-hander said. “You’ve got to win games like that once in a while. Tonight was one of those games I didn’t deserve to win, but I did. I’ve certainly had my share of games I didn’t deserve to lose, but I did. They all even out—at least you hope they do.”
Glavine walked three, struck out one and gave up three homers—two by Rafael Furcal. But he earned his 284th career victory, moving him into a tie for 26th on baseball’s all-time list.
Glavine, lifted after 93 pitches, gave up a total of 23 earned runs in his first 12 starts. He started on three days’ rest for the 25th time in his career and the first since Aug. 19, 2003. He was 7-6 with a 3.29 ERA in such situations.
“I felt too good,” he said. “This is what I would have anticipated I would have felt last time, and I had seven days off.”
The Mets remained 3 1/2 games ahead of second-place Philadelphia in the NL East, while the Dodgers trail NL West-leading Arizona by 1 1/2 games.
Milledge hit a two-out, two-run homer off Jae Seo in the seventh to give the Mets a 9-6 lead. Then, Nomar Garciaparra hit a liner down the left field line to open the eighth against Duaner Sanchez, but was thrown out by Milledge trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Billy Wagner, the Mets’ fifth pitcher, worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 12th save.
“You don’t know how a young guy is going to do,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said of the 21-year-old Milledge, who was playing in his eighth big league game. “It’s nice to see the kid help us out. Big, tremendous home run; a great throw. He’s making a nice case for himself.”
Milledge was brought up from the minors last week when Xavier Nady underwent an appendectomy.
The Mets took a 4-0 lead off Odalis Perez (4-2) in the first inning on five straight two-out hits. Beltran and Wright singled and, after a double steal, scored on a single by Julio Franco. Jose Valentin followed with an RBI double and scored on Milledge’s first career triple.
Furcal hit Glavine’s third pitch over the left field fence in the bottom of the inning for the 13th leadoff homer of his career.
Beltran hit an RBI single in the second, but the Dodgers tied the game in their half on an RBI single by rookie Russell Martin and a two-out, three-run homer by Furcal, his fourth of the season.
The Mets scored twice and chased Perez in the fourth on consecutive two-out singles by Chris Woodward, Paul Lo Duca, Beltran and Wright. Jose Cruz Jr. hit Glavine’s second pitch in the bottom of the inning for his fourth homer to draw the Dodgers within one.
Perez, making first start since May 2, allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 3 2-3 innings. Nine of the hits came with two outs.
“I don’t think there is any mechanical problem. No way,” Perez said. “I felt good tonight and I threw the ball the way I was supposed to throw it. They scored seven runs off me, but at the same time, you saw how many broken-bat bloopers they hit off me.”
Dodgers manager Grady Little said Perez wouldn’t be removed from the rotation again—at least for now.
“The first three hits of the game all came on shattered bats, and there’s nothing in the world you can do about that,” Little said. “After that, they hit a couple of balls good.”
Dodgers OF J.D. Drew didn’t start because of tightness in his right hamstring. He walked as a pinch hitter in the eighth and scored on Ethier’s double. … The Mets played without SS Jose Reyes (sore right wrist) and LF Cliff Floyd (sprained left ankle). Both are day to day. … Dodgers rookie Willy Aybar singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Garciaparra had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. … Franco made his third start of the season, giving 1B Carlos Delgado a rest, and went 1-for-5. The 47-year-old Franco is the oldest player in the majors.