Big League Stew

Angel Pagan grounder hits third base bag for strange double, sparks Giants rally

Big League Stew

Most of the highlights from Game 1 of the World Series will probably feature Pablo Sandoval home runs. He did hit three of them Wednesday night, after all, for the San Francisco Giants.

But not to be overlooked was a lucky double by Angel Pagan in the third inning that started a two-out rally that climaxed with Panda's second dinger of the night against Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander.

Pagan went the other way in the at-bat and sliced a two-hopper that hit the third base bag on its second bounce and made a left turn (from the standpoint of infielder Miguel Cabrera) into the outfield. Delmon Young was playing so deep (and Cabrera didn't run after it, either) that the ball went into no-man's land. Pagan was able to hustle into second base.

"I saw it when it got away from Miguel, I was just trying to hustle to first base and create something by beating the throw," Pagan said. "But then it hit the bag and after that I was trying to go to second base."

Pagan did get to second base and Marco Scutaro followed with a sharp single to center, scoring Pagan for a 2-0 lead before Sandoval settled into the batter's box, Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones irritated Verlander by visiting the mound for a meeting. Verlander could even be seen saying something like, "What are you doing out here?"

Whatever the coach told the pitcher didn't help. After two pitches in the dirt and a throw to first base, Verlander served up Sandoval's second home run. The Giants were on their way to an 8-3 victory and a 1-0 series lead.

"We'll take it any way it happens," Pagan said. "It could be an error or anything, we'll just take the win."

Watch the reaction of Cabrera as the ball does the completely unexpected. Oh, that's not fair. He was in perfect position, otherwise, to field the ball and throw to first.

What's even odder about this: A similar play happened in Cabrera's favor during the playoffs just a season ago.

The Tigers were able to force Game 6 of the ALCS in part because Cabrera hit a go-ahead RBI double that hit the third base bag and bounced over the head of Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers.

"Yeah, I've seen it before," Cabrera said in 2011. "But it really helped us this time."

Cabrera almost could say the same thing again Wednesday night. Almost.

Kevin Kaduk contributed to this post from San Francisco.

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