WASHINGTON -- With the Trade Deadline in the past and two All-Star outfielders en route to the West Coast, the Phillies started the rest of their season on Tuesday night at Nationals Park.
If only they had played like this more often in the first 102 games of the year.
Philadelphia's offense chased Washington ace Stephen Strasburg from the game early, and Cliff Lee shut out the Nationals over seven innings in an 8-0 win. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak and marked the Phillies' first game without outfielders Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, who were traded to the Dodgers and Giants, respectively, earlier Tuesday.
"I think we kind of realized something was gonna happen just with the way we were playing," Lee said of the trades. "It wasn't like a complete surprise, but what's done is done. [General manager Ruben Amaro Jr.] and those guys have a job to do, and they feel like the best thing for our organization right now is to move those guys, and hopefully it ends up being the best thing for us."
Lee was also mired in trade rumors the past few days. Several reports pegged the Rangers, one of his former clubs, as having interest. Lee said Amaro Jr. told him the rumors were just that.
"Ruben did tell me that some teams proposed some stuff to him, but nothing that ever made even close to sense for the Phillies," Lee said.
Facing the club that entered the day with baseball's best record, the Phillies (46-57) racked up 13 hits. Strasburg surrendered six runs on eight hits and exited after just four innings in his worst outing of the season.
Lee, on the other hand, looked more like the pitcher of old. The former Cy Young Award winner allowed no runs on just five hits and struck out seven in just his second win of the season.
"We beat a good pitcher," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I thought we played very good. We did come out with some life and everything. I mean, we got 13 hits."
Third baseman Kevin Frandsen, who was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday, hit a two-run home run in the second inning to start the scoring. In the third, left fielder Juan Pierre, who was also heavy in trade rumors before Tuesday's non-waiver Deadline, created a run. After singling to center field, the speedy veteran stole second and then swiped third and scored on a throwing error.
"We're just gonna keep playing each day for what it is and try to win each game," Lee said. "No one's giving up. No one's folded yet."
The Phillies added to their lead against Strasburg in the fourth. John Mayberry Jr. doubled and scored on an RBI single from Lee. Jimmy Rollins then hit a long fly ball to right field that Bryce Harper was not able to reel in. Harper hit the wall and fell to the ground, while the ball bounced into no-man's land and Rollins wheeled around the bases for a stand-up inside-the-park home run.
"Obviously, [Strasburg] didn't have his good stuff and his location wasn't that good," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He was fighting himself. He's a young pitcher, he lost a little poise. It's part of growing up."
Tuesday also featured the season debut of Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown, who was promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley following the trades earlier in the day. Formerly the organization's No. 1 prospect, Brown spent parts of the last two seasons in the Major Leagues before being relegated to the Minors to start the 2012 campaign.
After arriving just before first pitch -- his flight was delayed -- Brown singled as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.
"It felt great, man," he said. "It felt like I'm at home. It's been a long time for me, but I'm here now and it's a great feeling."
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.