PHILADELPHIA -- On a team loaded with All-Stars, the Phillies decided to add one more.
Hunter Pence has his turn to show how he can produce in a pennant race.
|More on Pirates at Phillies|
Utley and Halladay have a new All-Star teammate after the Phillies acquired Houston's All-Star outfielder for prospects. Pence would give the Phillies, who have the best record in baseball the right-handed bat they need and marks the second successive day an NL division leader has swung a deal to bolster their lineup. The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants acquired Carlos Beltran from the Mets on Thursday.
The Giants just won two of three from the Phillies and held them to two runs scored in the last two games.
The Phillies, trying to clinch their fifth consecutive NL East title, clearly needed a big bat in the postseason. Pence was batting .309 with 11 home runs and 62 RBI entering Friday The 28-year-old Pence was pulled from the Astros' game at Milwaukee. He's expected to play Saturday against the Pirates and is not eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season.
"We tried to address a need that we felt was a missing piece," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "This gives us a little more balance."
The Phillies gave up a pair of prospects in first baseman Jonathan Singleton and right-hander Jarrod Cosart. Cosart was Philadelphia's top-rated pitching prospect and Singleton was considered their top-hitting prospect. Houston also got 25-year-old righty Josh Zeid, who was 2-3 with two saves and a 5.65 ERA in 21 games, 11 starts, for Double-A Reading.
The Phillies clearly are trying to win now.
Amaro has a knack for pulling off the blockbuster deal -- a year ago he acquired Houston ace Roy Oswalt at the trade deadline -- and loaded up last winter by signing former Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee. He also traded for Halladay in 2009 and the right-hander won the Cy Young his first season with Philadelphia.
The terrific trio of aces that includes Halladay, Lee and Cole Hamels wasn't enough to convince Amaro the Phillies could win on pitching alone.
Halladay (13-4) struck out five and walked none in the sticky heat.
"We got on them early and made my job pretty easy," Halladay said. "You get a team down like that, especially coming off a tough series, it kind of takes the wind out of them."
Pence, a two-time All-Star, should bat fifth behind slugger Ryan Howard and add some protection behind the former MVP. His arrival means right fielder Domonic Brown, still considered a blossoming future star, will hit the bench.
The Phillies didn't need another hitter against Charlie Morton (8-6) and the Pirates. Utley had a run-scoring triple in his first at-bat, a three-run homer in the second inning to make it 7-0, and he singled in the third.
Utley struck out swinging in the fifth and eighth innings.
Jimmy Rollins added a two-run homer, his 12th, in the seventh for a 10-0 lead.
Howard's RBI double and Raul Ibanez's RBI single gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the first.
The Phillies scored a run on an error and Wilson Valdez walked with the bases loaded as part of a five-run second and an 8-0 lead. Howard, Utley and Ibanez are all lefty sluggers.
The Pirates never warmed-up a reliever and Morton pitched four innings. He even batted in the third, clearly taking his lumps for the team. He did everything but balk -- four walks, allowed a homer, threw a wild pitch and hit a batter.
"The first two innings he couldn't get the ball down consistently," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's still growing and trying to figure it out."
The early innings fun became an afterthought amid reports that Pence was headed to Philadelphia. Fans, the few who must not own smartphones, yelled up to the open-air press box asking if the Phillies got their man.
They did -- and they didn't have to surrender Brown to get him.
"This is not a knock on Dom Brown by any stretch," Amaro said.
Brown's had a lackluster first full season, including some recent fielding gaffes, and he was rumored to be the main piece in a Pence deal. Brown appeared relaxed before the game, answering questions about trade rumors and his future.
He has no reason to worry now -- though he is out of a starting job for this season.
That belongs to Pence.
Brown will likely be sent to the minor leagues.
- The Pirates placed RHP Chris Leroux on the 15-day disabled list with a left calf strain. The Pirates recalled INF Pedro Ciriaco from Triple-A Indianapolis. Ciriaco had a two-RBI double in the eighth.
- The Phillies have won each of Halladay's past 10 starts at home.