WASHINGTON (AP) - On a day the last-place Philadelphia Phillies seemingly acknowledged its run of five straight NL East titles would end this season, the first-place Washington Nationals didn't look like a team ready to assume to the crown.
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 Nationals on Tuesday night.
Rollins' home run was just one of the ways Philadelphia - still 15 1-2 games out of first place in the division- was sharper than Washington on Tuesday.
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.'
Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche of the Nationals missed Tuesday's game with minor back injuries. Johnson said he thinks both will play Wednesday.
Lee (2-6) allowed five hits and one walk and struck out seven for Philadelphia, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
He also 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.
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.
``It's always a new day, so you can't really worry about what you did the last time,' Strasburg said. ``I've just got to keep moving forward.'
Notes: After trading Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino on Tuesday, the Phillies started Pierre in left field, Mayberry in center and Laynce Nix in right. Philadelphia manager Charlie 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.' ... 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.
The Associated Press News Service
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