NEW YORK — A big game for Angel Pagan left the San Francisco Giants lamenting where they might be in the standings if their leadoff hitter was healthy all season.
Pagan homered, tripled and drove in three runs on a perfect night at the plate against his former team, leading Yusmeiro Petit and the Giants past the New York Mets 8-5 on Tuesday.
"A great return here to New York," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said about Pagan. "He's done such a nice job since he's come back. I think we've seen the difference he makes in our club, and he certainly showed that tonight."
The switch-hitter went 3 for 3 with two walks and scored twice for the defending World Series champions, who have won four straight and seven of nine to improve to 70-81. His tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning made a winner of Petit (4-0) in his second start since nearly pitching a perfect game.
"He's a clutch player," Bochy said. "I think we would have been in a better situation than the one we're in now if we'd had Angel."
Before the game, the Mets announced that Matt Harvey will try to rehab his injured right elbow without reconstructive surgery — a move the All-Star ace hopes is going to keep him on the mound next season.
"We have to be optimistic, because he is optimistic," New York manager Terry Collins said. "If he's able to be successful, that would be a great find for the organization headed into next year."
Pagan homered off Sean Henn (0-1) leading off the seventh to give the Giants a 5-4 lead. It was his first home run since an inside-the-park shot that ended a 6-5 victory over Colorado on May 25.
After that, Pagan missed 82 games with an injured left hamstring that required surgery. He returned on Aug. 30.
"I wanted to come back so the team finished strong and we can feel good about ourselves," Pagan said. "I know we're not going to go to the postseason or whatever, but if we finish strong I think we can reflect for next year and get ready, use this year as a motivation to prepare. I think we have a good enough team, we can't forget that."