Phillies add right-handed bat in Pence

PHILADELPHIA — 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, acquiring Pence, 28, 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 GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

The NL East-leading Phillies got the rightfielder and cash from Houston for three minor-leaguers and a player to be named. Pence began the day with a .309 batting average, 11 homers and 62 RBIs.

Houston nabbed two of Philadelphia's top prospects in Class A 1B Jonathan Singleton, 19, and Class A RHP Jarred Cosart, 21. But the Phillies managed to hold onto talented OF Domonic Brown. Rebuilding Houston also got Double-A RHP Josh Zeid, 25.

Irabu hanged himself

LOS ANGELES — Former major-league pitcher Hideki Irabu died by hanging himself, Los Angeles County coroner's officials said.

Assistant Coroner Chief Ed Winter wrote that Irabu, 42, did not leave a note, and that a friend found Irabu dead in his home in the suburb of Rancho Palos Verdes on Wednesday afternoon.

An autopsy was performed Friday, but Winter said it will take 6-8 weeks for the toxicology tests results, which could shed further light on the circumstances.

The right-hander spurned the Padres and pitched for the Yankees amid international hype in 1997, but he faltered after an impressive debut, drawing the ire of then-owner George Steinbrenner. Irabu later pitched for Montreal, then Texas.

Irabu may have been despondent over a split with his wife, who took their two daughters.

Clemens argues against new trial

WASHINGTON — With his trial cut short, former pitcher Roger Clemens argued that prosecutors goaded him into asking for a mistrial and asked a judge to throw out his indictment on charges of lying to Congress about performance-enhancing drug use.

Clemens said a new trial would violate his constitutional right against the double jeopardy of facing the same charge twice. His lawyers said the prosecutors chose to ignore a judge's order against using a teammate's wife's testimony so they could provoke a mistrial because their case was going badly by the second day.

Most legal experts who reviewed copies of the Clemens transcripts say he probably will face a second trial. They said when a mistrial is requested by the accused, the general rule is the guarantee against double jeopardy does not prevent another trial unless the judge finds prosecutors provoked a mistrial.

McCourt Divorce: Owner Frank McCourt has more than $70 million at his disposal and he's using some of his money to fund an "ongoing jihad" with MLB, his ex-wife's attorneys said in court documents filed in their divorce case. Former team CEO Jamie McCourt filed a motion in opposition of a request by Frank McCourt to reduce more than $600,000 a month in spousal support that she receives from him. Attorney Dennis Wasser argued Jamie McCourt shouldn't have to give up any money so that her ex-husband can "fund his futile and wasteful personal vendetta against both MLB and Jamie."

Dodgers: Reliever Kenley Jansen, 23, will be out at least three weeks after the team put him on the DL and he went on blood thinners less than 72 hours after being checked into a hospital for an irregular heartbeat.

Padres: LHP Clayton Richard is out for the season after arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

Yankees: Reliever Rafael Soriano (inflammation in right elbow) is back in the bullpen after 2½ months on the DL.

Phillies add right-handed bat in Pence 07/30/11 [Last modified: Saturday, July 30, 2011 1:24am]

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