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Braves fall back into wild card tie with loss to Phils

Sep 28, 2011 - 7:42 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Atlanta's once healthy wild card lead is no more, as the Braves were dumped by the record-setting Phillies, 7-1, and the Cardinals came back and beat the Astros later Tuesday night.

The Cardinals trailed the Braves by 10 1/2 games on August 25, but polar opposite performances in September has the clubs all square atop the wild card standings heading into the regular season finale.

Atlanta has a 9-17 mark in September to blame, including losses in seven of its last nine.

Philadelphia, responsible for five of its division rivals' losses in the last month, matched a club record with 101 wins, set a franchise mark with 49 road victories and saw manager Charlie Manuel match Gene Mauch for first place on the club's all-time wins list.

Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Hunter Pence all homered for the five-time NL East champions, while Roy Oswalt (9-10) hurled six scoreless innings.

Derek Lowe (9-17), the embodiment of Atlanta's collapse, was tagged for five runs on six hits in four-plus innings, falling to 0-5 in September with an 8.75 earned run average.

"It's just been a long year, my worst year by far. But with that being said, this isn't about me, it's about our team. We still have a chance," Lowe said.

That chance rests on the arm of veteran Tim Hudson, who will start opposite Joe Blanton in the regular season finale Wednesday. If a tiebreaker is needed, St. Louis will host Atlanta on Thursday.

Atlanta will start veteran Tim Hudson in the regular season finale, while Philadelphia will counter with Joe Blanton.

The Phillies, winners of three straight since a season-long eight-game skid, jumped on Lowe in the first inning via Utley's solo shot to center.

The visitors pushed two more across in the third on Rollins' RBI single through the right side and Pence's sacrifice fly.

Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez each singled to begin the fourth, and the former scored on Placido Polanco's sacrifice fly.

Lowe exited to a mix of sarcastic clapping and boos from the Turner Field crowd after yielding a leadoff single to Rollins in the fifth. Three batters later, Pence took Arodys Vizcaino deep to left-center for his 22nd home run and a 6-0 cushion.

"It's always nice to put some runs on the board, especially early. Lately our pitchers have been having to go eight innings just to see one run get on the board," Rollins said.

Julio Teheran surrendered Rollins' blast in the seventh, and the only hit the Braves managed off Philadelphia's bullpen was Martin Prado's home run off Kyle Kendrick in the ninth.

Game Notes

The Phillies won 101 games in 1976 and '77 and had 48 road wins in 1976 and 2009...Manuel and Mauch each have 645 wins, with the latter managing from 1960-68...Rollins had three of the Phillies' nine hits. With a steal in the third, he reached 30-plus stolen bases for the ninth time in his career...Braves shortstop Alex Gonzalez left the game early with a right calf strain...Philadelphia leads the season series, 11-6.

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    Phillies 7, Braves 1  FinalNov 7 1:32 PM
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    Phillies 7, Braves 1  FinalSep 28 12:07 AM

  • Chipper Jones popped out to short. None on with one out and Dan Uggla due up.

    Phillies 7, Braves 1  Bot 9, 1 OutSep 27 9:36 PM

  • Jimmy Rollins one-out, solo Home Run (16) to right. Chase Utley due up.

    Phillies 7, Braves 0  Top 7, 1 OutSep 27 8:57 PM

  • Hunter Pence one-out, two-run Home Run (22) to left center scored Jimmy Rollins. Ryan Howard due up.

    Phillies 6, Braves 0  Top 5, 1 OutSep 27 8:27 PM
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    Phillies 6, Braves 0  Top 5, 1 OutSep 27 8:27 PM

  • Placido Polanco sacrifice fly to right scored Shane Victorino with one out. Runner on first and Carlos Ruiz due up.

    Phillies 4, Braves 0  Top 4, 1 OutSep 27 8:06 PM

  • Hunter Pence sacrifice fly to left scored Roy Oswalt with two out. Runner on second and Ryan Howard due up.

    Phillies 3, Braves 0  Top 3, 2 OutsSep 27 7:48 PM

  • Jimmy Rollins singled to right scoring Carlos Ruiz with none out. On the play, Roy Oswalt advances to second. Runners on first and second and Chase Utley due up.

    Phillies 2, Braves 0  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 27 7:46 PM

  • Chase Utley one-out, solo Home Run (11) to center. Hunter Pence due up.

    Phillies 1, Braves 0  Top 1, 1 OutSep 27 7:13 PM

    ATLANTA: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Sep 27 7:10 PM

    ATLANTA: 1

    Sep 27 9:41 AM
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    Phillies vs. BravesMar 31 2:29 PM