WASHINGTON -- On his team's most chaotic day of the season, Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel didn't give his players a fiery pep talk or words of wisdom -- or any advice at all.
"The best thing you can do sometimes is not say nothing," Manuel said.Cliff Lee threw seven innings and scored on Jimmy Rollins' inside-the-park home run to lead the Phillies to an 8-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.On the same day Philadelphia traded outfielders Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants, one of the Phillies' other former All-Stars heavily involved in trade rumors -- Lee -- excelled.Lee (2-6) allowed five hits and one walk and struck out seven for Philadelphia, which snapped a three-game losing streak."I signed here to win here," Lee said. "Obviously, nobody is happy with the way this year has gone, but this is where I want to be."Stephen Strasburg (11-5) allowed a season-high six earned runs and had season-lows with three strikeouts and 65 pitches."Obviously, he didn't have his best stuff and his location wasn't real good," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He was fighting himself, young pitcher, lost a little poise. It's part of growing up."Lee hit a two-out single to drive in John Mayberry Jr. in the fourth inning. For good measure, Lee stole second, his second career steal, before scoring on Rollins' fourth career inside-the-park home run.Rollins blasted the ball off the wall in right, and outfielder Bryce Harper crashed into the fence. The ball rolled back toward the infield and Harper had little chance to throw out Rollins once the right fielder recovered the ball."I thought I could catch it. I didn't," said Harper, who added he was not hurt on the play.It was just one of the ways the last-place Phillies -- still 15½ games out of first place in the NL East -- were sharper than the first-place Nationals on Tuesday, a day Philadelphia seemingly acknowledged its run of five straight division titles would end.Kevin Frandsen, whom the Phillies recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley when they placed third baseman Placido Polanco on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, hit a two-run homer in the second.Juan Pierre stole second and third on consecutive pitches in the third and scored when catcher Jesus Flores' throw to third went into left field.Ryan Howard reached first base after striking out on a wild pitch in the seventh inning."No one's giving up. No one's folded yet," Lee said. "So, it's game on."
After trading Pence and Victorino on Tuesday, the Phillies started Pierre in left field, Mayberry in center and Laynce Nix in right. Manuel said Mayberry and Domonic Brown, who was recalled from Lehigh Valley, would play more down the stretch. "We probably want to find out about that, too," Manuel said of Brown's ability to become an everyday player. "I think he can, but I haven't seen him a whole lot." Brown pinch-hit in the eighth inning and singled. "It felt great," Brown said. "I felt like I'm at home." ... Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche of the Nationals missed Tuesday's game with minor back injuries. Johnson said he thinks both will play Wednesday. ... Strasburg , who singled in the first, raised his batting average to .333. ... Nationals pitcher Henry Rodriguez walked Mayberry on a ball four that sailed well over Mayberry's head and straight into the net behind home plate. ... Lee has never been caught stealing. ... Rollins' last inside-the-park home run came on April 7, 2007, against then-Florida Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis. ... On Tuesday, Washington began a stretch of 17 games in 16 days. The Nationals, who host a doubleheader with Miami on Aug. 3, have their next scheduled day off on Aug. 16. ... Washington's Edwin Jackson (6-6, 3.52) is scheduled to face Vance Worley (5-6, 3.88) on Wednesday night.