Mets' Pagan gets rare double Rays make conquest of Yankees look easy
WASHINGTON — New York Mets center fielder Angel Pagan hit an inside-the-park home run and started a triple play last night, making him the first player in 55 years to take part in both feats in the same game.
Pagan hit the first inside-the-park home run in Nationals Park history in the fourth inning. An inning later, his shoestring catch led to the Mets' first triple play since 2002.
Phillies shortstop Ted Kazanski was the last player to do both, on Sept. 25, 1955, against the New York Giants, the Elias Sports Bureau said. That was also the last time a team pulled a triple play and hit an inside-the-parker in the same game, Elias said.
Pagan's homer came in Washington's third season at its ballpark.
The Nationals put runners on first and second with no outs in the fifth. Cristian Guzman hit a sinking liner and Pagan rushed in to make a shoestring catch in center field.
The runners kept going and Pagan threw home, just in case. Catcher Henry Blanco tossed the ball to shortstop Jose Reyes at second base to double off Livan Hernandez. Reyes relayed to first baseman Ike Davis to catch Nyjer Morgan to complete the Mets' 10th triple play.
Hoffman will sit two games: Trevor Hoffman, his role as Milwaukee's closer increasingly in doubt as he struggles through a miserable season, will sit out a two-game series in Pittsburgh so he can work with pitching coach Rick Peterson.
Hoffman blew his fifth save in 10 opportunities by giving up three runs in the ninth inning of Milwaukee's 5-4 defeat at Cincinnati on Tuesday — the Brewers' eighth consecutive loss. He is 1-3 with a 13.15 ERA, allowing 21 hits, seven walks and seven home runs in 13 innings.
Howell's season over: Tampa Bay reliever J.P. Howell had season-ending surgery on his left shoulder yesterday, a disappointing blow to the Rays' bullpen.
The operation was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. The Rays said they are optimistic Howell will be ready for the start of the 2011 season.
Howell, who has been sidelined all season for the Rays, went 7-5 with a 2.84 ERA and 17 saves in 69 appearances last year.
Beckett goes on DL: Boston placed Josh Beckett on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lower back yesterday shortly before the New York Yankees formally protested the way he was removed from their game the previous night.
Beckett, struggling all season, left Boston's 7-6 win Tuesday night after allowing a two-run double to Robinson Cano with two outs in the fifth. The Yankees protested to umpire crew chief Larry Vanover when reliever Manny Delcarmen was allowed more than the standard eight pitches to warm up. When a pitcher leaves a game with an injury, baseball rules allow for his replacement to take as much time as needed to get loose.
Astros: Houston waived struggling second baseman Kaz Matsui after last night's 7-3 win over Colorado. Matsui was batting .141 this season and was hitless in his last 20 at-bats. The 34-year-old Matsui was in the last season of a three-year, $16.5 million contract that he signed in December 2007.
Yankees: Jorge Posada has a broken bone on the bottom of his right foot that the New York Yankees say will sideline their star catcher for three to four weeks. Posada, however, insists it won't take that long for him to return to the lineup.