NEW YORK (AP) – Tom Glavine pitched eight sharp innings and the newly crowned NL East champion New York Mets, fielding a makeshift lineup in a game that mattered little to them, rallied to beat the fading Florida Marlins 3-2 Tuesday night.

Lastings Milledge and Michael Tucker hit RBI singles in the eighth that gave Glavine (14-6) his 289th career victory.

The Marlins’ fourth straight loss was a damaging one – they began the day 4 games behind San Diego in the wild-card race.

The Mets’ lineup did not include anyone who started Monday night’s clincher, and it had six guys hitting under .210. Julio Franco made his first start at third base since 1982, while Tucker played first base and broke in Carlos Delgado’s backup mitt.

“We got our A-minus squad out there today,” Mets manager Willie Randolph kidded before the game.

Glavine, however, shined in what essentially was a tuneup for the playoffs in two weeks. He went eight innings for the first time since April 19, limiting the Marlins to four hits. Billy Wagner pitched the ninth for his 39th save.

Marlins rookie Scott Olsen shut down the Mets on five hits for seven innings and left with a 2-1 lead. But New York rallied in the eighth against Chris Resop (1-2) on a single by Anderson Hernandez, a walk to Endy Chavez and Milledge’s tying single.

After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Tucker greeted Matt Herges with a go-ahead single.

Wes Helms, who once played with Glavine in Atlanta, hit a two-run homer in the second. Helms connected for his first home run in more than a month after Josh Willingham drew a leadoff walk.

Other than Helms’ home run, Glavine was in control and allowed only two other runners to reach second base.

Hernandez, subbing for Mets leadoff man Jose Reyes, homered on Olsen’s first pitch in the third. The ball landed in the Marlins’ left-field bullpen, and Hernandez got hearty high-fives when he skipped back to the dugout.

Notes: Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria made a one-handed snag of a foul ball that bounced into his front-row box. … 2B umpire Doug Eddings showed off a nice arm. When Florida C Miguel Olivo overthrew Olsen, Eddings retrieved the ball in shallow center field and pegged it to the mound. … The crowd was announced as 42,407, although it appeared be less than half that on a misty night.



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