Washington, DC – Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run inside-the-park homer and Cliff Lee pitched seven shutout innings in Philadelphia's 8-0 win over the Nationals, capping a day of changes for the new-look Phillies.
The five-time defending NL East champions, buried in last place, dealt outfielders Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence to the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, respectively. The Phillies got Josh Lindblom, Nate Schierholtz and three minor league players in exchange for the two players in an attempt to build for the future.
Despite some trade rumors, Lee (2-6) remained in a Phillies uniform after Tuesday afternoon's non-waiver dealing deadline, and the lefty was able to snap a three-start winless skid. He gave up five hits, had seven strikeouts and drove in a run.
"We've had a tough draw this year with injuries and stuff," Lee said. "Who knows what's going to happen this year with the moves they made. Hopefully, it's going to be that much better in the future."
Kevin Frandsen also went deep for the Phillies, who were swept in a three-game set at Atlanta over the weekend.
Stephen Strasburg (11-5) was touched for eight hits and six runs over four innings.
"He didn't have his best stuff and his location wasn't good. He was fighting himself. He lost a little poise," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "It's just a long grind and you can't be dominant every time you go out there."
What a difference a year makes for the Nationals, though. Entering play on July 31, 2011, the fifth-place Nats trailed the first-place Phillies in the NL East standing by 17 games. Despite Tuesday's win, the Phillies are 15 1/2 games behind the division-leading Nats.
Washington, which has never won a division title in a full season in franchise history, lost for just the second time in its last 10 contests.
Strasburg escaped a jam in the opening inning when second baseman Steve Lombardozzi made a diving stop on a ball hit by Ryan Howard to start a double play.
Carlos Ruiz doubled to right to start the second, and with two outs Frandsen homered to center on a first-pitch fastball from Strasburg. It was Frandsen's first homer since Sept. 30, 2007 when he played for the Giants.
The Phillies used their speed to extend the lead in the next inning. Juan Pierre singled with one out, stole second and then third, scoring on the play when catcher Jesus Flores threw the ball into left field.
Washington loaded the bases with two outs in the third, but Tyler Moore grounded out to end the threat.
The fourth inning saw the visitors pad their cushion to 6-0, helped by Lee's bat and the speed of Rollins, combined with Bryce Harper's collision with the fence in right field. John Mayberry doubled with one out and came home on Lee's ground single to right field.
After Lee stole second, Rollins hit a ball to the wall. Harper made a leaping try, but collided with the fence and the ball rolled away from him. By the time Harper chased down the ball and threw home, Rollins scored standing up for his fourth career inside-the-park homer.
The Phillies tacked on two runs in the ninth thanks to a Ruiz groundout and an RBI single from Laynce Nix.
Lee retired the final 10 batters he faced before yielding to Antonio Bastardo for the eighth inning. Kyle Kendrick closed the frame and Michael Schwimer struck out the side in the ninth.
The Nationals activated infielder Chad Tracy from the 15-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Corey Brown to Triple-A Syracuse...The Phillies recalled outfield prospect Domonic Brown from Triple-A Lehigh Valley and also activated backup catcher Brian Schneider from the 15-day DL. Brown recorded his first hit at the major league level this year with a bouncing pinch-hit single up the middle in the eighth inning...Lee threw 68 of his 103 pitches for strikes...The six runs allowed for Strasburg tied a career-high.