PHILADELPHIA -- Domonic Brown saw the writing on the wall late Friday when the Phillies traded for Houston's Hunter Pence.
He hoped to stay in the Major Leagues, but even he knew he had to keep learning, and everyday playing time would not be happening in Philadelphia.
"Last night, he was taking it pretty hard," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I walked out with him. His position is better than he thinks it is."
Brown was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Saturday and is now the IronPigs' starting left fielder. With Hunter Pence set to man right field through 2013, Brown's best path to returning to Philadelphia and staying there is in left, currently occupied by Raul Ibanez until he becomes a free agent at the end of this season.
"He didn't have any problem with it when I talked to him about it this afternoon," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said, adding that Brown was not the only option to send down.
Brown will be back in September when rosters expand. Then, he'll platoon in the outfield and bring a valuable plate approach off the bench that can be serviceable down the stretch. In 54 games, Brown posted a .335 OBP and .728 OPS, including 25 walks.
Manuel has sent high-ceiling prospects down before to allow them to work through their struggles, among them Ryan Howard with the Phillies and Jim Thome when he was the manager of the Indians.
"The next time [Brown] comes up here we want him to be ready to go and stick," Manuel said.
Howard records 1,000th career hit
PHILADELPHIA -- First baseman Ryan Howard doubled in the third inning Saturday for his 1,000th career hit and moved into seventh place on the Phillies' all-time RBI list with 828, ahead of Pat Burrell.
He homered his first time up against Pirates righty James McDonald, smoking a 1-0 pitch to deep center.
Polanco activated from DL, in lineup
PHILADELPHIA -- Third baseman Placido Polanco was activated from the disabled list on Saturday and hit seventh in the lineup against the Pirates.
Polanco said he feels 90-95 percent healthy after making two rehab appearances with Triple-A Lehigh Valley the last two days. He went on the disabled list July 15, retroactive to July 5, with lower back inflammation and a bulging disk.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Polanco will be given Sunday off because he's just returning and the team has a flight out to Colorado immediately after the game.
Polanco, 35, was voted in as the starting third baseman for the National League in the All-Star Game. He is hitting .274 with four homers and 39 RBIs in 83 games this season.
To make room on the roster, the Phillies optioned right fielder Domonic Brown to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he will play left field because of the acquisition of Hunter Pence from the Astros on Friday.
Manuel happy to pencil Pence into lineup
PHILADELPHIA -- Charlie Manuel has waited a long time to fill out a lineup card like this.
Since Jayson Werth signed with the Nationals in the offseason, the Phillies lacked punch from the right side of the plate and in the No. 5 hole behind Ryan Howard.
Enter Hunter Pence, who the Phillies acquired from the Astros on Friday, batting .278/.336 OBP/.780 OPS, with six doubles, two triples, two homers and 16 RBIs against lefties this year.
"There's things that we can do in our lineup now. Against a lefty, we can maneuver our lineup better," Manuel said. "Sometimes, [Raul] Ibanez will be hitting sixth or seventh. Sometimes, [Placido Polanco] with be hitting second, sixth, seventh. Sometimes, [Shane] Victorino can be hitting second, sixth -- depends on who's pitching and how we're going."
Pence hit fifth, Polanco seventh and Victorino second against Pirates right-hander James McDonald on Saturday.
Citizens Bank Park welcomes 25 millionth fan
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies hit an attendance milestone Saturday against the Pirates when they welcomed their 25 millionth fan to Citizens Bank Park since its opening in 2004.
Friday's crowd of 45,599 was the 180th consecutive regular season sellout at Citizens Bank Park. Attendance projections indicate the Phillies will see 3,250,000 head through the turnstiles this year.
The Phillies have posted a 359-264 regular season record at the ballpark.
"We have reached many milestones and played some incredible games at Citizens Bank Park," Phillies vice president of sales and ticket operations John Weber said. "But what is most important to us is the countless moments and memories that each one of our millions of fans has experienced -- all while showing their unmatched passion for their Phillies."
Nate Mink is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.