Baseball

Beltran, Pagan rally Mets past Cardinals

New York — Every time he connects at the plate, Carlos Beltran looks more attractive to those playoff contenders interested in trading for him.

What his New York Mets teammates would really like, however, is to make their own run at October with Beltran by their side.

“What’s the option, give up? Let us take it down a different path? We want to make it hard for the front office,” starting pitcher R.A. Dickey said.

Beltran hit a tying home run and Angel Pagan won it with a 10th-inning drive as New York rallied from an early four-run deficit to beat the sputtering St. Louis Cardinals, 6-5, on Wednesday night.

Beltran, who can become a free agent after the season, is at the center of trade talk all around baseball. The switch-hitting slugger is perhaps the biggest prize available on the market as the July 31 non-waiver deadline approaches.

“Not really thinking about it. I hear what you hear, but I have to prepare myself and help the team any way I can,” he said. “I cannot assume anything right now. Nobody’s talked to me. Nobody’s said anything to me.”

Beltran hit a two-run shot and new father Josh Thole had two RBI for the Mets (49-48), including a tying single off Jason Motte with two outs in the eighth.

Albert Pujols was not in the St. Louis starting lineup, rested against former Mariners knuckleball pitcher Dickey with a scorching matinee game on deck today. But the Cardinals built a 4-0 lead for Kyle McClellan, who is 0-5 with a 5.48 ERA in his last eight starts.

Pagan connected on the first pitch from Fernando Salas (5-4), hitting a drive off the facing of the second deck in right field for his first career game-ending homer.

“Fastball, right down Broadway,” Pagan said.

Right after he connected, Pagan pumped his fist and watched the ball fly as he tossed his bat aside. When he returned to home plate, he was mobbed by teammates in a joyous celebration.

“I can’t hit a ball any harder than that,” said Pagan, happy that his family was in the crowd.

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