- Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Hunter Pence is adding his big bat to a pennant race.

Philadelphia is counting on its latest All-Star acquisition from Houston to do what Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt did before him _ help take the team with the best record in baseball deep into the postseason.

The Phillies made another deadline splash Friday night, acquiring Pence from the Astros for a package of highly rated prospects.

“He’s a guy that I think our fans will take to very well,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

The NL East-leading Phillies got the right fielder and cash from Houston for three minor leaguers and a player to be named, shoring up their lineup as they try to make it back to the World Series for the third time in four years.

Amaro is developing a knack for pulling off big deals right before baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline. He acquired ace left-hander Cliff Lee in 2009 and right-hander Oswalt last year.

“Hopefully he comes in, fits in and helps us,” Lee said.

Oswalt helped pitch the Phillies to the NL championship series last year. Before the 2008 season, the Phillies got Lidge from the Astros and he went 48 for 48 in save opportunities and led them to a World Series championship.

The 28-year-old Pence began the day with a .309 batting average, 11 homers and 62 RBIs.

Houston nabbed two of Philadelphia’s top prospects in first baseman Jonathan Singleton and right-hander Jarred Cosart. But the Phillies managed to hold onto talented outfielder Domonic Brown.

The 19-year-old Singleton was batting .282 with nine homers and 47 RBIs for Class-A Clearwater. He was selected by the Phillies in the eighth round of the 2009 draft.

The 21-year-old Cosart was 9-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 20 games, 19 starts, for Clearwater.

Rebuilding 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.

Amaro said the Phillies were able to stay under the luxury tax. He also refused to say he was done dealing before Sunday’s deadline.

“Right now, I’m very comfortable with our ballclub,” he said.

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