Instant Replay: Pagan's big night makes winner of Petit
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NEW YORK – It’s easy enough. You can simulate an entire baseball season on a computer. You can roll the Strat-O-Matic dice all you like.

But you cannot truly sketch out where the Giants would be if they hadn’t lost Angel Pagan to the disabled list for three months. Who knows? Maybe they’d be mathematically done either way. The Dodgers did what they did, after all, and there was no preventing that.

After a night like Tuesday at Citi Field, though, you have to believe the Giants’ fate and fortunes would’ve been much better. Pagan was an impact performer in his former home ballpark, reaching base in all five plate appearances, finishing a double short of the cycle and connecting for a tiebreaking solo home run in the seventh inning as the Giants beat the New York Mets 8-5.

It was the Giants’ fourth consecutive victory – something they haven’t done since April 29-May 5, when they won six in a row.

Pagan already had walked twice, scored a run and contributed an RBI single when he stepped to the plate against Sean Henn in the seventh. The home run was a hefty drive that easily would’ve found the left field bleachers at AT&T Park. And it was his first homer since his walk-off, inside-the parker May 25 to beat the Colorado Rockies – his last act before his balky hamstring forced him onto the DL.

After that mad and memorable scamper at AT&T Park, the Giants held a 7 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West. That weekend was the high-water mark of their season.

There were so many leaks after that.

Starting pitching report
Everyone knows the Mets’ Zack Wheeler is a former top Giants prospect, sacrificed for a two-month rental of Carlos Beltran in 2011. It’s easier to forget that Yusmeiro Petit was a former top Mets prospect, too, before they sacrificed him to get Carlos Delgado from the Florida Marlins.

Petit (4-0) is long removed from those days but he’s proving himself to be a serviceable strike thrower now. He left the game in line for a victory after allowing four runs in six innings.

The Mets scratched him for a run in the third inning when Ruben Tejada hit a leadoff double, advanced on a sacrifice and scored on a ground out.

They rallied for three more in the fourth as Petit lost his feel for the strike zone, issuing two walks to start the inning before Wilmer Flores lined an RBI double off the wall. Matt den Dekker followed with a tying, RBI single to center field. The Mets scored the go-ahead run, too, when den Dekker got caught in a rundown. Flores raced home as shortstop Brandon Crawford remained committed to tagging out den Dekker.

Petit had to pitch through traffic again in the fifth after Daniel Murphy hit a two-out double to put two runners in scoring position. Lucas Duda drew an intentional walk and Petit won the battle with Flores this time, breaking his bat on a dribbler to the mound.

Bullpen report
Jean Machi and Javier Lopez teamed up for a scoreless seventh inning. Santiago Casilla struck out two in the eighth – his 14th scoreless outing in his last 15 appearances.

But Sandy Rosario appeared to reinjure his stiff back in the ninth inning, and Sergio Romo struggled in a non-save situation. Shortstop Brandon Crawford made an error on a grounder to his left as the Mets put the tying runs on base with one out. But Lucas Duda popped up and pinch hitter Andrew Brown lofted an out to Pagan in center field to end it.

At the plate
The Giants were seeing Wheeler for the second time this season. For the second time, they managed just three hits against the hard-throwing right-hander.

But Wheeler also set a career high with six walks, and the Giants did well to take what they were given. Wheeler needed 40 pitches to get through the second inning, when he walked four – including Petit to force in a run. Pagan added an RBI single and Gregor Blanco completed the three-run rally by driving in a run on a forceout.

Wheeler settled down but another walk led to a run in the fifth. Pagan drew it, advanced on Blanco’s sacrifice, took third on Brandon Belt’s infield hit down the first base line and scored the tying run on Buster Posey’s ground out.

Pagan’s homer put the Giants ahead, and they added to their lead in the eighth. Tony Abreu hit an RBI double and Pagan followed with his triple that carried over the center fielder’s head.

They scored again in the ninth when Hunter Pence singled to drive in his 93rd run of the season – and his 20th in his last seven games.

Pence has driven in at least one run in seven consecutive games. One more and it would match the longest by a Giant since J.T. Snow went eight games with an RBI in April, 2003. (The San Francisco era franchise record, by the way, is 10 – shared by Matt Williams and Jeff Kent.)

Pinch hitter Roger Kieschnick struck out to end the ninth, leaving Pagan in the on-deck circle and preventing him from one more shot at the 11th cycle in the Giants’ San Francisco era.

The Mets announced 24,343 paid, including several party busloads of Giants fans from Finnerty’s. Loud chants of “Let’s go Giants” in the ninth inning pretty much went unopposed.

Up next
The Giants and Mets continue their three-game series at Citi Field on Wednesday. Matt Cain (8-9, 4.24) takes the mound against right-hander Aaron Harang (5-12, 5.70). First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. PDT.