And now? Not so much.
"They're winning -- that always helps," Lee said Monday, less than two hours before he made his debut at first base for the Pirates against the Chicago Cubs.
And Lee came through for his new team, hitting two home runs and getting three RBIs, but it wasn't enough as the Cubs beat the Pirates, 5-3, Monday night in Pittsburgh.
Lee, who was dealt from the Orioles this weekend, said, "I don't think anyone wants to get traded to a team that's losing . . . We have a shot at the postseason and that makes it more exciting coming down the stretch."
The surprising NL Central contenders were buyers instead of their usual role as sellers at this year's trade deadline, picking up Lee and outfielder Ryan Ludwick.
"It's different that we're actually guys trying to get guys,'' centerfielder Andrew McCutchen said. "Usually we're people that are selling players and getting them out of here to another team."
Nationals 5, Braves 3: Rick Ankiel hit two home runs, and Livan Hernandez allowed one run in six innings and drove in a run to lead the host Nationals. Dan Uggla homered twice for the Braves, giving him 22 this season. Uggla went 3-for-4, extending his career-best hitting streak to 23 games.
Zito back on DL
One day after Barry Zito lost his third straight start, the Giants lefthander is going back on the disabled list. Zito's velocity was regularly clocked at only 82 mph . . . Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco has been suspended six games for throwing at Kansas City's Billy Butler on Friday night. -- AP