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

Cole Hamels takes the mound Saturday against the Giants in what could potentially be his final start at Citizens Bank Park as a member of the Phillies.

"I'm not thinking about it," Hamels said after his July 15 start. "I get to control my own destiny. That's the least of my worries. If I stay healthy and I'm able to pitch, I know I'll be able to do well and I'll do it for a really long time, and everything else will eventually fall into place."

With the July 31 Trade Deadline approaching and possible free agency looming after the season, the former No. 1 Draft pick could be pitching for the last time in front of the Phillies faithful in the park in which he has gone 46-32 with a 3.19 ERA in 98 career starts.

That is, of course, unless Hamels and Phillies can agree on a contract extension, and reports say that talks have heated up in the last couple of days.

And the two sides don't need to look far away for an example of a team rewarding a top pitcher with a hefty contract. Matt Cain, who takes the mound Saturday for the Giants, received a new six-year deal in April that made him the highest-paid right-handed pitcher in baseball history, and he has been earning it this season.

After a stellar first half led to Cain being named the National League starter in the All-Star Game, Cain allowed two runs (one earned) in 6 1/3 innings in the Giants' 3-2 win against the Astros.

"He's probably one of the best pitchers I've faced this year, easily in the top three," Astros third baseman Chris Johnson said afterward of Cain. "Not only does he have really good stuff, he competes harder than just about anybody we face. You put those things together like that, it's pretty tough."

Cain is 10-3 with a 2.56 ERA, and Hamels has been just about as impressive, with a 11-4 record and 3.07 ERA. If Hamels does sign an extension, it is expected to match or exceed Cain's deal.

And as two of the top pitchers square off, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel doesn't expect any of the trade rumors to affect his ace.

"That's why he's good," Manuel said of Hamels. "If you can't handle stuff at big moments of the game, what happens? We're going to lose. That's what a professional is supposed to be: a front-line professional player."

Giants: Huff suffers setback in rehab assignemnt
• Aubrey Huff aggravated his sprained right knee during a game with Triple-A Fresno on Thursday during his rehab assignment and will return to San Francisco for an MRI, manager Bruce Bochy said Friday.

Huff had been hitting .154 (2-for-13) in four games with Fresno after hitting .250 (4-for-16) for Class A San Jose.

Phillies: Pence benefiting from healthier lineup
• Hunter Pence's offensive production has seen a boost with the return of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to the lineup. Since June 28, Pence has been batting .450 (9-for-20) with one home run and 11 RBIs.

"I think that he's been hitting the ball with guys on base," Manuel said of Pence. "I think he's cutting and hitting it."

• Laynce Nix is seven games into a rehab assignment and could return to the Phillies this week. Nix has been out with a left calf strain since May 9 and is with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

"I understand he's very close," Manuel said.

Worth noting
• Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino is one hit shy of 1,000.

• The Giants have now won four of their last five games at Citizens Bank Park.

• The Phillies' 17 home wins are the fewest in the NL.

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