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Pagan's tiebreaking grand slam in eighth lifts Mets

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Angel Pagan picked the perfect moment to unveil some unexpected power.

Pagan hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the eighth inning for his first homer in two injury-plagued seasons with the Mets, and New York beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-6 on Saturday night.

"I don't remember being so excited," Pagan said. "I was thinking of my wife. I was really pumped."

 Beltran take batting practice

Pagan's surprising shot gave him a career-high five RBI. Brian Schneider hit an early RBI double and New York got strong relief work from Pedro Feliciano (4-3).

Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds hit long home runs for the Diamondbacks in a matchup of fourth-place teams who expected much more this season. Both clubs have been hampered by key injuries.

New York loaded the bases against Clay Zavada (2-3) with one out in the eighth on a walk and singles by pinch-hitters Omir Santos and Angel Berroa.

Pagan hit a drive into the left-field seats for his first career slam, giving the Mets a 9-5 lead and sending the crowd of 39,574 into a frenzy. After circling the bases, he came out for a curtain call.

"I just missed my spot with that fastball," Zavada said.

It was Pagan's first homer since July 15, 2007, with the Chicago Cubs against Houston. And it was the second time in six days the Mets hit a tiebreaking slam in the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Fernando Tatis connected in Monday night's 7-3 win over Colorado.

Pagan has taken over as New York's regular center fielder and leadoff hitter lately because of injuries to Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes.

"It's the opportunity you dream of," Pagan said.

And his teammates are thrilled to see him making the most of it.

"It's nice to see him put it all together and stay healthy and see what he can do," David Wright said.

Brian Stokes retired the first two batters in the ninth, then gave up a mammoth shot to Reynolds. The ball landed in the second deck of stands a little to the left of the 408 sign in center, one of the longest home runs at cavernous Citi Field.

In the first inning, the 21-year-old Upton, a first-time All-Star this season, hit his 20th homer, an impressive drive that sailed into the second deck in left.

"You watch their BP and it's an absolute show," Arizona starter Max Scherzer said. "There's not a ballpark in the league that can hold them. Haven't seen one yet."

Prior to Saturday night, the only visiting player to reach that deck here was Upton's brother, B.J., for Tampa Bay on June 21.

Reynolds has 30 homers, second in the majors behind Albert Pujols' 34. He also dove over the tarp to catch a foul popup in the seventh.

Stokes walked his next hitter before Francisco Rodriguez retired pinch-hitter Miguel Montero on a popup for his 24th save in 27 chances. It was Rodriguez's first save opportunity since July 12.

New York had dropped two in a row following a five-game winning streak. The Diamondbacks had won four of six.

Mets starter Oliver Perez was erratic as usual, throwing 112 pitches through five innings. He struck out seven, walked five and left with a 5-3 lead, but Bobby Parnell squandered it in the sixth.

Gerardo Parra had a run-scoring groundout and Upton's two-out RBI single tied it at 5.

"Ollie competes when he gets out there," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "He gets in those situations and finds a way to get out. I don't know if we can live with a walk per inning and a hit per inning and continue to be successful. So we have some work to do."

Coming off a terrific outing against Pittsburgh, Scherzer touched 97 mph with his fastball and tossed three shutout innings before giving up four runs in a 38-pitch fourth. That was the end of his night.

"That's a frustrating outing," he said.

Arizona loaded the bases with nobody out in the third but failed to score.

Notes

  • Diamondbacks SS Stephen Drew and C Montero were rested as manager A.J. Hinch stacked his lineup with seven right-handed hitters. Coming into the game, lefties were batting .216 against Perez while right-handers had a .307 mark.
  • Hinch said the club wants RHP Tom Gordon (left hamstring) to start pitching well at Triple-A Reno before activating him from his rehab assignment. "He does feel better," Hinch said.
  • RF Jeff Francoeur has 18 RBI in 18 games since joining the Mets in a trade from Atlanta.
  • The Mets hadn't announced a starter for Monday night's series finale. They could call up RHP Nelson Figueroa from Triple-A Buffalo.
  • Feliciano hasn't allowed an earned run in 24 1/3 innings at Citi Field.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Angel Pagan makes his first homer in two seasons with the Mets a big one, hitting a clutch slam.  (AP)
Angel Pagan makes his first homer in two seasons with the Mets a big one, hitting a clutch slam. (AP)

Players of the Game
Arizona

J. Upton
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
New York

A. Pagan
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 5
 

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Arizona Diamondbacks
Ryan Roberts, 2B5120011 .263
Gerardo Parra, LF-CF5121020 .274
Justin Upton, RF5132001 .302
Mark Reynolds, 3B4111134 .277
Chris Snyder, C3000213 .218
Chris Young, CF1100201 .197
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
   a- Josh Whitesell, PH1000010 .205
    Juan Gutierrez, P0000000 .000
    Clay Zavada, P0000000 .000
   b- Miguel Montero, PH1000001 .283
Chad Tracy, 1B4000014 .221
Augie Ojeda, SS2111200 .223
Max Scherzer, P2000013 .206
    Alex Romero, LF2000001 .220
Totals35695710  
a-struck out for Boyer in the 7th
b-popped out for Zavada in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ryan Roberts (10, Parnell)
HR - Justin Upton (20, Perez), Mark Reynolds (30, Stokes)
RBI - Gerardo Parra (38), Justin Upton 2 (65), Mark Reynolds (70), Augie Ojeda (5)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Upton 2 (20), Mark Reynolds (33)
SB - Gerardo Parra (4, 3rd base off Perez/Schneider), Mark Reynolds (19, 2nd base off Perez/Schneider)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Blaine Boyer (3, Throwing)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Max Scherzer 4644240 3.80
Blaine Boyer 2310010 4.62
Juan Gutierrez 1000000 4.29
Clay Zavada (L,2-3) 1344111 3.18
WP - Max Scherzer (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 86-54, Blaine Boyer 31-19, Juan Gutierrez 12-10, Clay Zavada 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 5-3, Blaine Boyer 5-0, Juan Gutierrez 2-1, Clay Zavada 1-1
Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 20, Blaine Boyer 9, Juan Gutierrez 3, Clay Zavada 7
New York Mets
Angel Pagan, CF4125010 .295
Luis Castillo, 2B5000013 .294
David Wright, 3B4110110 .325
Daniel Murphy, 1B4110011 .247
Jeff Francoeur, RF4111000 .257
Cory Sullivan, LF2111100 .269
   a- Fernando Tatis, PH-LF1000010 .242
Alex Cora, SS3121100 .253
Brian Schneider, C3111013 .212
   b- Omir Santos, PH-C1110000 .263
Oliver Perez, P2010002 .333
    Bobby Parnell, P0000000 .000
   c- Jeremy Reed, PH1000001 .259
    Tim Redding, P0000000 .077
    Pedro Feliciano, P0000000 .000
   d- Angel Berroa, PH1110000 .146
    Brian Stokes, P0000000 .000
    Francisco Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
Totals35912936  
a-struck out for Sullivan in the 8th
b-singled for Schneider in the 8th
c-hit into fielder's choice for Parnell in the 6th
d-singled for Feliciano in the 8th
Batting
2B - Angel Pagan (7, Boyer), Alex Cora (10, Scherzer), Brian Schneider (8, Scherzer)
HR - Angel Pagan (1, Zavada)
SF - Angel Pagan (1)
RBI - Angel Pagan 5 (12), Jeff Francoeur (53), Cory Sullivan (4), Alex Cora (13), Brian Schneider (22)
SB - David Wright (23, 2nd base off Boyer/Snyder)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Cora-Castillo-Murphy
PB - Brian Schneider (1)
New York Mets
Oliver Perez 5632571 7.03
Bobby Parnell (BS,4) 1222110 4.20
Tim Redding 0.1000000 6.99
Pedro Feliciano (W,4-3) 1.2000010 2.51
Brian Stokes 0.2111111 3.50
Francisco Rodriguez (S,24) 0.1000000 2.06
WP - Oliver Perez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Oliver Perez 112-67, Bobby Parnell 21-14, Tim Redding 3-2, Pedro Feliciano 15-11, Brian Stokes 13-7, Francisco Rodriguez 3-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Oliver Perez 3-4, Bobby Parnell 1-1, Tim Redding 1-0, Pedro Feliciano 2-2
Batters Faced - Oliver Perez 25, Bobby Parnell 6, Tim Redding 1, Pedro Feliciano 5, Brian Stokes 4, Francisco Rodriguez 1
Game Information
Attendance - 39574
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom