Monday, Mar 19, 2018
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Pagan leads rout of Detroit Tigers

NEW YORK - Angel Pagan finished a homer shy of the cycle and had four RBIs, David Wright reached base five times and scored three runs, and the New York Mets routed the Detroit Tigers 14-6 on a rainy Tuesday night.

Ike Davis had two hits and two RBIs in the third inning as the Mets batted around for eight runs, getting help from Jay Sborz, who became the first pitcher in eight years to hit the first two batters in his big league debut.

Sborz was pitching in relief of Justin Verlander (8-5), who did not return to the mound after a 58-minute rain delay that began after he allowed an RBI double to Jason Bay in the third inning that gave New York a 3-0 lead.

The Mets returned home from a 7-2 road trip, having lost the final two games of a three-game set with the crosstown rival Yankees, to face the Tigers in New York for the first time since 2004.

The Tigers gave the Mets plenty of help in this matchup of teams that each entered 9-3 in interleague play. Detroit walked seven - one intentionally - hit two batters with pitches, and allowed Jose Reyes to reach on a third strike that went to the backstop for a wild pitch.

Pagan, subbing for injured Carlos Beltran, tied a career high with four hits - hours after learning that Beltran will begin a rehab assignment tomorrow at Class-A St. Lucie.

Beltran is recovering from offseason knee surgery. He could return to the Mets sometime around the All-Star break, which likely would cut into playing time for Pagan and right fielder Jeff Francoeur.

Wright had two singles, an RBI double, a sacrifice fly, and two walks - one intentional. Reyes scored three runs and had three hits, and every position player except Rod Barajas drove in a run as the Mets set a season best for runs.

Jonathan Niese of Defiance did not allow a hit for the first three innings but sat 90 minutes between pitches thanks to the rain delay and struggled in the fourth, giving up a two-run homer to Brennan Boesch that went over the 415-foot sign in right-center.

Niese labored in the fifth too. Mets manager Jerry Manuel gave the left-hander every chance to earn his fourth straight win but lifted him once he walked Brandon Inge to load the bases with two outs.

Fernando Nieve (2-3) gave up an RBI single to Boesch in 21/3 innings and struck out four in a row.

In the third, Davis singled before the rain arrived, then greeted reliever Brad Thomas with a two-run double in the inning that started at 8:06 p.m. and ended at 9:34 p.m.

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