NEW YORK -- Tom Glavine pitched one of his best games this season -- and nearly went home without a win.
After leaving runners on base in all but one inning Saturday night, the Mets finally came through in the eighth when Lastings Milledge hit a tiebreaking single with two outs to send New York to a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds and give Glavine his 298th win.
"I'm not going to lie to you," Glavine said. "If I didn't come out of that with a win, it would have had psychological repercussions."
Glavine (8-6) allowed only two hits, including Brandon Phillips' homer, in eight innings. But he would have been lifted for pinch-hitter Damion Easley even if Milledge, the No. 8 hitter, hadn't given the Mets the lead.
"No, Tommy was finished," Mets manager Willie Randolph said.
Lurking in the dugout tunnel and gauging the progress of the Mets' rally from crowd reactions in the eighth, Glavine toyed with the idea of grabbing a bat and informing Randolph that he planned to hit. He reconsidered, he said, when he couldn't locate his skipper.
Glavine struck out five and walked none, improving to 27-12 against Cincinnati. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is closing in on becoming the 22nd major league pitcher to win 300 games.
"What you saw was vintage Glavine," Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "He was outstanding today. He pitched on both sides of the plate. It's hard to win when you have two hits, but we were still in it."
Shawn Green hit an RBI single and scored the go-ahead run for the Mets, who won for the fourth time in 11 games this month.
The game started 32 minutes later than usual following on-field ceremonies honoring longtime Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner. Glavine wasn't quite sure when he would throw the first pitch, so he was concerned about his pregame routine.
Turns out, he had nothing to worry about.
"I got everything from, 'We don't know,' to '7:30' to '7:45,'" Glavine said. "I was happy with the way we played and I was happy we were able to sneak out a run in the eighth."
Billy Wagner pitched a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 20 chances.
Phillips opened the second with his 19th homer and second in two games. He hit a first-inning grand slam and drove in six runs during Cincinnati's 8-4 victory Friday night.
The Reds fell to 6-3 since Mackanin replaced the fired Jerry Narron on July 1.
Matt Belisle held New York in check for seven innings, nearly preventing Glavine from earning a win. The right-hander stranded eight runners before the Mets came through against reliever Mike Stanton (1-3).
"Even though we won the game tonight, I felt we could have played a lot better," Randolph said.
David Wright singled leading off the sixth, stole second and scored on Green's two-out single to tie it at 1-1.
Belisle scattered nine singles, but the only one that did any damage was Green's broken-bat hit. He struck out six and walked two.
After Phillips' homer in the second, Glavine retired 16 in a row before Ken Griffey Jr. singled down the right-field line with one out in the seventh. Griffey was erased on a fielder's choice by Phillips, who was thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Paul Lo Duca.
Glavine was helped by two excellent defensive plays in the sixth. Second baseman Ruben Gotay went far into right field to catch Belisle's blooper, and shortstop Jose Reyes scooped up a grounder that third baseman Wright was unable to reach. Reyes threw out Ryan Freel to end the inning, and the Mets stayed within striking distance for Glavine, who did essentially what he's done for two decades.
"He just doesn't miss spots," Belisle said. "He never gives in. He's outstanding."
- After the game, the Mets designated LHP Dave Williams for assignment to clear roster space for LHP Oliver Perez, who will come off the disabled list to start Sunday.
- The Reds placed SS Alex Gonzalez on the bereavement list.
- Glavine's 27 career wins against the Reds are the most for any active pitcher against Cincinnati.
- Wright got his 20th stolen base of the season.
- Reyes reached down to his shoetops to catch Phillips' sinking liner to end the fourth. After he gloved it, the ball squirted out of his fingers, but he snatched the ball out of the air in front of second-base umpire Doug Eddings, who had a clear view and signaled an out.
- The attendance of 51,742 pushed the Mets past 2 million in their 45th home date. Last year they reached 2 million in 49 games.
- Gotay has a career-best nine-game hitting streak.