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HOU@SF: Cain solid over 6 1/3 frames of one-run ball

The news may have come as a surprise to Hunter Pence, but from the moment the 29-year-old outfielder heard he'd been dealt from the last-place Phillies to the first-place Giants, this much was clear:

Pence was about to find himself in the thick of a pennant race.

That all begins Wednesday night in Pence's first game as a Giant. San Francisco hosts the Mets in the third game of a four-game set at AT&T Park -- where Pence is hitting .329 lifetime with five homers and 10 RBIs in 20 games.

"He's had a lot of success here in this ballpark," said Giants general manager Brian Sabean. "We like his ability in general. ... We're well aware of his style of play, and I think he'll do well for us here."

Pence was sent to the Giants before Tuesday afternoon's non-waiver Trade Deadline in a deal that saw outfielder Nate Schierholtz and prospects Tommy Joseph and Seth Rosin head to Philadelphia. That's exactly where he finds himself, as the Giants sit a game ahead of the rival Dodgers in the National League West and 3 1/2 up on third-place Arizona as the calendar turns to August.

Pence's first at-bat in a Giants uniform will likely come against Mets left-hander Jon Niese (7-5, 3.86 ERA).

Niese matched his career high by giving up eight runs in six innings on Friday against the D-backs. His throwing error allowed two unearned runs to score. Niese's only career start in San Francisco came in 2010, when he went seven innings and allowed just one run on six hits.

Giants right-hander Matt Cain (10-3, 2.80 ERA) opposes Niese. Cain, one of the league's most dominant arms this season, has posted a 3.01 ERA in August starts during his career -- a personal low for any month.

Cain is coming off a seven-inning, nine-hit outing in which he allowed three runs in a loss to the Dodgers.

Mets: Hairston still a Met
• Despite the plethora of teams searching for a solid right-handed bat, the Mets opted not to trade Scott Hairston before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"We were not going to move players simply to move them," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. "We were not looking for some small, incremental improvement in the overall player development situation. If we were going to get a quality player, then we would strongly consider doing something as a seller. But absent a strong effort by another club, we weren't going to simply make a move just to make a move."

Alderson indicated the Mets likely would not have received a top-30 organizational prospect for Hairston, who is hitting .305 with nine home runs against lefties this season.

"I admit I didn't sleep as good as I thought I would last night," Hairston said on Tuesday. "I kept staring at the clock. But I'm just excited I'm still here."

Giants: Pagan day to day
• Two bruised fingers kept Angel Pagan out of the lineup on Tuesday, and he remains day to day heading into Wednesday's game.

"He's doing better, and he's available to go in if we need him," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before Tuesday's game, though Pagan didn't play. "I'd like to give him a day, maybe two days. I think he can use a break, too. I know he's frustrated. He's been hard on himself."

Pagan is mired in a 7-for-41 slump.

• Aubrey Huff aggravated his right knee injury while running to first base on Monday. Huff will likely head to the disabled list when Pence is added to the active roster.

Worth noting
• Mets third baseman David Wright is hitting .429 lifetime against Cain, with five doubles in 21 at-bats.

• New York is currently in the midst of a season-high 11-game road trip, during which it is 3-3.

• The Giants are hitting just .211 with runners in scoring position over their last six games. Comments