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Utley, Halladay Help Phillies Crush Pirates

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    Utley, Halladay Help Phillies Crush Pirates
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    Chase Utley was the man Friday night.

    The Phillies landed Hunter Pence Friday night.

    Oh yeah and they beat the Buccos.

    Chase Utley fell a double shy of the cycle, Roy Halladay tossed one-hit ball over seven shutout innings and the Phillies beat the cross-state Pirates 10-3 at CBP.

    The Phillies (66-39), who have the best record in baseball, also traded for Houston All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence. Pence would give the Phillies the right-handed bat they need and marks the second straight 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 straight NL East title, clearly needed a big bat in the postseason. Pence was batting .309 with 11 homers and 62 RBIs entering Friday The 28-year-old Pence was pulled from the Astros' game at Milwaukee.

    The Phillies gave up a four prospects in first baseman Jonathan Singleton and right-handers Jarred Cosart and Josh Zeid. Cosart was Philly's top-rated pitching prospect and Singleton was considered their top-hitting prospect.

    The Phightins clearly are trying to win now.

    General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. 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 in red pinstripes.

    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 Friday.

    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 or be sent to the minors.

    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 a double short of the cycle.

    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.

    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 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. 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.