NEW YORK (AP) — Angel Pagan finished a homer shy of the cycle and had four RBIs, David Wright reached base five times and scored three runs, and the New York Mets routed the Detroit Tigers 14-6 on a rainy Tuesday night.
Ike Davis had two hits and two RBIs in the third inning as the Mets batted around for seven runs, getting help from Jay Sborz, who became the first pitcher in eight years to hit the first two batters in his big league debut.
Sborz was pitching in relief of Justin Verlander (8-5), who did not return to the mound after a 58-minute rain delay that began after he allowed an RBI double to Jason Bay in the third inning that gave New York a 3-0 lead.
The Mets returned home from a 7-2 road trip, having lost the final two games of a three-game set with the crosstown rival Yankees, to face the Tigers in New York for the first time since 2004.
The Tigers gave the Mets plenty of help in this matchup of teams that each entered 9-3 in interleague play. Detroit walked seven — one intentionally — hit two batters with pitches and allowed Jose Reyes to reach on a third strike that went to the backstop for a wild pitch.
Pagan, subbing in center field all season for injured Carlos Beltran, tied a career high with four hits — hours after learning that Beltran will begin a rehab assignment Thursday at Class-A St. Lucie.
Beltran is recovering from offseason knee surgery. He could return to the Mets sometime around the All-Star break, which likely would cut into playing time for Pagan and right fielder Jeff Francoeur.
Wright had two singles, an RBI double, a sacrifice fly and two walks — one intentional. Reyes scored three runs and had three hits, and every position player except Rod Barajas drove in a run as the Mets set a season best for runs.
Jonathan Niese did not allow a hit for the first three innings but sat 90 minutes between pitches thanks to the rain delay and struggled in the fourth, giving up a two-run homer to Brennan Boesch that went over the 415-foot sign in right-center.
Niese labored in the fifth, too. Mets manager Jerry Manuel gave the left-hander every chance to earn his fourth straight win, but lifted him once he walked Brandon Inge to load the bases with two outs.
Fernando Nieve (2-3) gave up an RBI single to Boesch in 2 1-3 innings and struck out four in a row.
In the third, Davis singled before the rain arrived, then greeted reliever Brad Thomas with a two-run double in the inning that started at 8:06 p.m and ended at 9:34 p.m.
After the tarp was removed, Sborz, called up from Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday, hit Barajas with a pitch to load the bases and then plunked Francoeur to force in a run.
Sborz's big league debut was over about as quickly as it started. He got just two outs, one on a diving stop by Inge, who tagged third base with his glove for a forceout, and a strikeout when Niese bunted foul for strike three. Sborz gave up five runs while getting just two outs.
Justin Miller of the Toronto Blue Jays was the last pitcher to hit the first two batters in his big league debut. He did it on April 12, 2002, against Tampa Bay, according to STATS LLC.
After being lifted, Sborz shook his head in the dugout. Verlander, who also allowed five runs, came over for a word.
Austin Jackson made his first start since hurting his back a week ago. He had an RBI double in the Tigers' four-run fifth.
NOTES: Pagan singled and grounded out in his two chances to get the cycle. ... Sborz replaced struggling starter Rick Porcello, optioned to Toledo before Sunday's game. After going 14-9 as a 20-year-old rookie, Porcello is 4-7 with a 6.14 ERA this season. ... The Mets recalled RHP Bobby Parnell from Triple-A Buffalo. He pitched a scoreless inning.