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Phillies Get All-Star Right Fielder Hunter Pence From Astros

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July 30 (Bloomberg) -- The Philadelphia Phillies, who have the best record in Major League Baseball this season, acquired All-Star right fielder Hunter Pence from the Houston Astros in exchange for four players.

Pence, 28, who is hitting .308 with 11 home runs and 62 runs batted in this season, was removed from the game in the middle of Houston’s loss at Milwaukee last night. The Astros, 35-71, have the worst record in baseball this year.

“I think every competitor at the highest level wants to be in a pennant race, wants to be in a World Series,” Pence told reporters in Milwaukee. “I’m pretty lucky now I get to jump on board with one of the best teams.”

The Phillies (66-39) lead the National League East Division by five games over the Atlanta Braves. Philadelphia lost in the NL Championship Series last season to the San Francisco Giants after making it to the World Series in 2008 and 2009.

Philadelphia said in a news release last night that it sent three minor leaguers to the Astros -- first baseman Jonathan Singleton and right-handed pitchers Jarred Cosart and Josh Zeid.

The Astros also will get a player to be announced later, and the Phillies will get an undisclosed amount of cash in addition to Pence, Philadelphia General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in the release.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Gloster in San Francisco at rgloster@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net