Angel Pagan was surprised his first-inning drive carried over the wall for a home run Monday, and he was equally shocked at its historical significance.
Pagan's leadoff shot to right off the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter sent a jolt through the home crowd and lit a fire under his Giants teammates in a 7-1 victory over St. Louis in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.
He became just the second player in major league history to hit two leadoff homers in a single postseason. Jimmy Rollins also did it during the Philadelphia Phillies' World Series run of 2008.
Pagan also is one of just five players with multiple postseason leadoff homers in their career, joining Derek Jeter, Rollins, Brady Anderson and Johnny Damon.
"I wasn't shooting for it, I tell you that," Pagan said. "I was just trying to go out there and do my best for my team. When I was watching the replay, it said it on the bottom (of the TV screen). I was like, 'Wow.' I got surprised."
Pagan entered Monday just 4 for 25 in the postseason, but he went 2 for 4 with two runs in Game 2.
The early offense set the Giants on the path to their first playoff win at AT&T Park this season. They came in 0-3 and had never lost four straight postseason games at home.
Teammates have come to expect such things from Pagan, an excitable player who also battled the sun in center to make a great catch on John Jay's deep drive to lead off the game.
"He's a guy that can get on base a lot of different ways," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "He can drive the ball. He's got a ton of triples this year, and he can get on and steal some bases too."
Pagan showed he's got some pop too, although he didn't think he connected very well on a 1-2 pitch from Carpenter in the bottom of the first. Even Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran's pursuit of the ball didn't suggest it was headed for the seats.
It barely cleared the right field wall.
"I thought it'd be a fly ball or maybe off the wall, because I saw Carlos go back and stop like he had it. Then he kept looking at it," Pagan said.
Until that homer, the Giants hadn't held a lead in any of their previous three postseason games at AT&T Park this season.
Pagan also went deep to lead off Game 4 of the N.L. Division Series, an 8-3 Giants victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
He said he relishes the chance to spark his team to start a game, something he admired in watching Jose Reyes, a former teammate when both were in the New York Mets organization..
"I watched him, how aggressive he was," Pagan said. " The kind of energy he brings to the game. I think it's addictive when you have something like that."
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