Glavine matches own season high for innings pitched

PHOENIX (AP) -- Tom Glavine definitely likes pitching at Bank One Ballpark.

Glavine pitched into the ninth inning for his eighth win in ninth starts in Phoenix as the New York Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1 on Monday night.

Glavine said the dirt path between the mound and home plate helps him focus.

"[It] kind of locks me in, makes me feel good about my target and where I'm trying to go and where I'm trying to step with my pitches," Glavine said. "It just kind of gives you a little sense of tunnel vision."

Jose Reyes and Victor Diaz homered and Cliff Floyd drove in two runs for the Mets, who got another strong outing from Glavine in the opener of a seven-game road trip.

Glavine (10-10) matched his season high for innings pitched but lost a chance at his first complete game since May 23, 2004, and 54th of his career when he gave up a leadoff single to Royce Clayton in the ninth. He was replaced by Braden Looper, who finished for his 25th save in 30 chances.

"As much as you love to finish games and all that kind of stuff, at the same time as a starting pitcher you hate to come out of a game where your closer has no margin for error," Glavine said. "So at least with one guy on, Braden's got a little margin to make a mistake."

Glavine went eight innings in a 9-5 win over Chicago on Aug. 5 -- the beginning of a four-start stretch in which the left-hander is 3-1 and has pitched 30 innings. The win was his 272nd, leaving him one short of Red Ruffing for 29th on the all-time list.

He gave up one run on five hits and a walk, with Shawn Green
driving in Arizona's only run. Glavine struck out five.

"Tommy was outstanding, vintage Glavine," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "He's been coming on steady for us since the early-season shaky starts."

Diaz hit a 436-foot solo shot off Arizona reliever Tim Worrell
in the ninth after Glavine outpitched another groundball specialist, Arizona's Brandon Webb (10-10). Webb allowed three runs and five hits, three walks and a wild pitch in eight innings.

"[Glavine] was rolling pretty good, and you can't really make a lot of mistakes," Webb said. "He gave up one run, and three was too many tonight."

Glavine, who had walked three in six previous starts, walked Craig Counsell, his first batter. But Counsell was stranded when Clayton popped up, Luis Gonzalez struck out watching a pitch on the outside edge and Tony Clark grounded into a forceout.

That started a stretch in which Glavine retired 18 of 19 batters, the last 14 in succession after Green's one-out single in the second inning.

"I can't say that I feel any better right now than I did in some of my banner years, but I feel good right now," the 39-year-old left-hander said.

Glavine believes he's evolving in his craft, and Arizona manager Bob Melvin agreed.

"He's throwing cutters," Melvin said. "He's throwing into left-handers, throwing changeups to left-handers, and it used to be just sinkers and changeups away for effect and go back out there. He's pitching in a lot more and he's manipulating the baseball off
his fastball."

The stretch ended when Gonzalez and Clark singled leading off the seventh. Clark was erased when Troy Glaus hit into a double play, but Green hit an RBI double into the gap to end the shutout bid.

New York scored twice in the first after Kaz Matsui singled with one out and Webb walked Carlos Beltran behind him. Floyd followed with a double into the right field corner.

"Brandon is a tough pitcher," said Floyd, who worked the count full before his first hit. "You've have to try to get him early. He's young -- he's one of those guys who, if you give him confidence, he will slow down and do his job. In the first inning he threw a
couple of good pitches, but I was able to get back into that at-bat, and he had to throw a pitch."

eyes made it 3-0 with his drive into the grandstand in the fifth.

In the sixth, Floyd and David Wright singled, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. But Webb struck out Diaz and got Mike Jacobs, making his first start after becoming the fourth player in franchise history to homer in his first major-league at-bat the day before, to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Game notes
Wright robbed Glaus of an extra-base hit in the second inning, taking two steps before diving to his right at third to stop a sharp grounder and then throwing out Glaus at first. ... Floyd has 23 RBI in his last 31 games. ... Beltran stole second in the third, increasing the Mets' NL-high total to 122 stolen bases. ... The Diamondbacks have lost 13 of 19.