While there’s some thought out there that they’ve soured on a potential Carlos Beltran deal, the Phillies have been the most aggressive suitors for Houston’s Hunter Pence, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports.
Rosenthal also tweets that the Red Sox have inquired about Pence, but that they’ve had a tough time finding a match with the Astros, and that the Braves aren’t currently involved in the chase.
The Astros will want an awful lot for Pence, but the Phillies have exactly the type of player Houston should desire in return in Domonic Brown. The Phillies won’t part with Brown for two months of Carlos Beltran, but two years and two months of Pence could be a different story. Pence will get expensive in arbitration, but he’s not going to be a free agent until after the 2013 season.
Pence has hit .308/.356/.470 with 11 homers and 62 RBI this season. With his name involved in trade rumors, he has struggled since the All-Star break, going 6-for-36 in 10 games.
The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game home series against the Astros, winning 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. In doing so, they ended the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.
Xander Bogaerts struck the decisive blow, knocking in a run with a double in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Michael Chavis also hit another homer — his eighth of the season — while Mookie Betts collected three hits and scored three runs to raise his OPS to .899.
The Astros last lost on May 7 against the Royals, the second game of a three-game series. The Astros won the final game of that set, then swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the Tigers in three, and won the first two games against the Red Sox. It’s their second 10-game winning streak of the season, as they won 10 striaght between April 5-16, sweeping the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners before losing the second of two games against the A’s in Oakland.
At 31-16, the Astros are slightly behind the Twins — in progress as of this writing — for the best winning percentage in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have made up some ground after ending April 13-17. They’re now 24-22, good for third place in the AL East.