Pagan gets thumbs up on his heads-up play

New York Mets #16 Angel Pagan slides home

New York Mets #16 Angel Pagan slides home safely past Atlanta's #10 Chipper Jones on Jose Reyes infield pop-fly during the seventh inning. (April 23, 2010) (Credit: Photo by KEVIN P. COUGHLIN)

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A heads-up baserunning play by Angel Pagan? Things might be turning around for the Mets after all.

Pagan, known more for his baserunning foibles, scored from second base on an infield fly rule pop-up that was dropped by Chipper Jones for an error in the seventh inning of the Mets' 5-2 win over the Braves on Friday.

Pagan was on second and Luis Castillo on first when Jose Reyes popped one up that Jones dropped. Under the infield fly rule, Reyes is automatically out whether the ball is caught or not. Runners can advance at their own peril. Pagan and Castillo both advanced a base after the drop. But then the Braves, apparently unaware of the rule, left home plate unattended as the ball wound up at first base, where Reyes was standing. Pagan hustled home and slid in with the Mets' fourth run.

"It was brought up in ," Pagan said. "I really wanted to go, but helped me to go in the right moment. He kind of read my mind because I wanted to go."

Said Jeff Francoeur: "I was joking with [Pagan]: 'You've done some stupid stuff before, but that was the smartest thing you've ever done.' "

Wagner back

Billy Wagner, less than a year removed from the Mets, looked mighty comfortable as a member of the Braves. Wagner has only one save, but in his first visit back to Flushing since the Mets traded him to Boston, Wagner was unsure of the reception he'll get if he has a save chance this weekend.

"I play for the Braves; I don't play for the Mets, so it's understandable whatever I get," said Wagner, who was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 11 strikeouts in six innings. "I just got to go out there and get three people out. All I can say is that I enjoyed New York and hated that I wasn't able to go out and help them win that championship."

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