SAN FRANCISCO — There has been no shortage of early-season storylines for the reigning World Series champions, from Buster Posey and Brandon Belt's struggles, to Brandon Crawford's strong start and Tim Lincecum's bid to return to his old form.

Amid it all, Angel Pagan has plugged away in the leadoff spot, eager to make good on a four-year, $40 million deal the Giants gave him in December. So far, it looks like a deal the front office won't regret.

Pagan had a go-ahead two-run double in a 5-0 win over the San Diego Padres, clinching a sweep that started with Pagan's walk-off double on Friday night. Pagan is hitting .301 and is tied for fifth in the National League in runs (16).

Pagan hit just .250 last April, but said he came into this season with a different mindset. As he prepared for a shot with the Giants a year ago, Pagan believed he would be down near the bottom of the order and tasked with providing a little pop.

"They had Melky (Cabrera) at the top," Pagan said, "And I didn't know what my role would be. I tried to work on my power."

The Giants' offense took off last summer when Pagan returned to the leadoff spot he loves, and knowing that he was entrenched atop the lineup, Pagan altered his workout routine this offseason. The Giants have been burned by big-money outfielders (Aaron Rowand) and re-signed veterans (Aubrey Huff) in the past, but from the outset of camp, Pagan looked as fit as ever.


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"I tried to work more on my quickness," he said. "I want to hit line drives, just keep it simple and get on base as much as possible.

Pagan has a .350 on-base percentage in April, a mark he beat in just two months a year ago. He has hit safely in 14 of 19 games and leads the Giants with seven multi-hit games.

Even with a new contract that set his family up for life, Pagan said he didn't feel that he could scale back at all in what ended up being a short offseason.

"When you win a championship, it makes you want to prepare for another one," he said. "I just fell in love with that feeling."