DENVER -- Angel Pagan's sixth-inning triple to the right-center alley Tuesday gave the Giants center fielder a slice of the San Francisco record book as his 12th triple of the season tied him with Hall of Famer Willie Mays (1960) and Steve Finely (2006) for the most in a season since the Giants moved west in 1958.
"Those are names that are like legends," Pagan said after the Giants' 9-8 victory over the Rockies. "The way Willie's been to me -- I never saw him play, but my dad did, my father-in-law did, and I've seen a lot of highlights. Just like Roberto Clemente, I never saw him play, but the way he went about his business in baseball and the legacy that they left in the game is something that you really want to follow. Willie Mays is an example I'd like to follow and a person I'd like to have by my side all the time to learn about the game."
The triple also gave the Giants a pair of insurance runs -- one Pagan knocked in (and nearly caught on the basepaths) and one he scored on Marco Scutaro's sacrifice fly in the next at-bat -- to extend their lead over the Rockies to 8-5.
"That was big to add on and give us a little cushion, which we needed as you well saw," manager Bruce Bochy said. The runs helped the Giants hold on and edge the Rockies.
Pagan's triple also moved him past Starlin Castro, Dexter Fowler and Jose Reyes for most triples in the National League this season, but being beside Mays in the Giants' record book was clearly his highlight. The two Giants center fielders bonded at Spring Training this year when Mays sought him out and Pagan embraced the opportunity to glean what he could from one of the best to ever play the game.
"That's a good name to be right next to," Pagan said of Mays. "He's been kind of my mentor the whole year. I'm very happy to be able to meet him and talk about baseball, and now to tie his triple record -- that's something I will always remember."