Hunter Pence Debuts, Ryan Howard Leads Philadelphia Phillies in Win

Daniel KablackCorrespondent IIIJuly 31, 2011

Hunter Pence goes 1-5 in Debut, Howard finishes 4 of 4
Hunter Pence goes 1-5 in Debut, Howard finishes 4 of 4Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Hunter Pence is already a favorite in Philly.

A day after being traded from the Houston Astros, Pence debuted in front of a packed house in Philadelphia in a game against their cross-state rivals, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Despite a lackluster performance, the Phillies crowd did not disapprove, coming to a roar at each at bat.

Of course, it did help that Ryan Howard homered a ball to center to charge up the crowd just before Pence could take to the plate in the second.

Howard went 4-for-4 on the night with a 420-foot homer in the second. He reached his 1,000th hit milestone on the night, and was pitched around his final at bat.

Jimmy Rollins also slammed one out of the park in the third to make it 2-0.

Hunter Pence finished the night 1-for-5, but that was after he was robbed of a hit in the second on a regular groundout, just beating the throw to first.

Unfortunately, the first base umpire could not get a great look from behind the play, and called him out.

With his last at bat, Pence singled in the eighth on an off-balance reaching swing and brought home a run, bringing the Philadelphia crowd, who was already on their feet, to a deafening roar.

Phillies fans are excited about the two-time all-star, who is filling in a right field position that's been lacking since being vacated by Jayson Werth.

Pence's right-handed bat was also desperately needed in a mostly left-handed Phillies lineup.

The Phillies recorded 16 hits on the night, seemingly pumped up on the trade that brought in Pence. His energy and work ethic are two things that will be appreciated in Philadelphia.

Cliff Lee finished the night in the eighth inning, after giving up four runs on eight hits, but striking out 11 batters in the process, Ryan Madsen got the save and the Phillies went on to win, 7-4.

The Pirates have the 7-1 upstart rookie starter, Vance Worley to look forward to when they take the field on Sunday at 1:30 to finish the three-game series with the Phillies.