PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Phillies have shifted their focus from the wild-card race toward catching first-place Atlanta.
Reserve infielder Ramon Martinez hit his first career grand slam, leading Philadelphia to a 12-4 victory over the Braves on Wednesday night.
Andruw Jones provided the lone bright spot for Atlanta by hitting his 50th homer, becoming the first major leaguer to reach that mark since Alex Rodriguez (57) and Jim Thome (52) in 2002.
"I don't really enjoy too much with a loss," Jones said.
The Phillies moved into a tie with Florida for first place in the NL wild-card standings, and closed within five games of NL East-leading Atlanta with their third straight win over the Braves. They've won five of six overall since Houston swept a three-game series in Philadelphia last week.
With Brett Myers pitching against the Braves on Thursday and three more games in Atlanta next week, the Phillies are back in the division race after starting the week eight games out.
"That's definitely on our minds," said Cory Lidle, who pitched five effective innings for the win.
Jones connected for his 300th career homer off Geoff Geary in the eighth inning, hitting a solo shot into the second deck in left field. The 28-year-old center fielder became the 12th player in major league history to hit 300 homers before his 30th birthday.
"If Andruw is going to hit one like that when we're up nine runs, I kind of enjoyed watching it," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of the 438-foot drive. "It was worth following."
Lidle (11-10) allowed three runs and seven hits to win his second straight start since coming off the disabled list.
Consecutive singles by Bell and Mike Lieberthal loaded the bases with one out in the third inning against Horacio Ramirez (11-9). Martinez followed with a liner into the left-field seats for his first homer this season, giving the Phillies a 7-0 lead.
Martinez started at first base for Ryan Howard, a left-handed hitter who had the night off against the left-handed Ramirez. Howard hit nine homers in the previous 19 games, but Manuel still kept him out of the lineup. Martinez made the often-criticized Manuel look like a genius.
"That's the thing about utility guys, whenever you get a chance you try to contribute," Martinez said, adding he was surprised to get the start.
Ramirez allowed seven runs -- six earned -- and eight hits in three innings in his shortest outing of the season and worst since giving up eight runs in five innings against Cincinnati on Aug. 3.
"It was a rough night for Ramirez," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "The grand slam hurt us."
Philadelphia scored three times in the first with help from Atlanta's defense and a few lucky bounces.
Rollins doubled leading off the inning. After Michaels struck out, Rollins stole third and scored on Bobby Abreu's infield single up the middle.
Bell hit an RBI single to left, and Lieberthal had a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
|Philadelphia's Ramon Martinez smacks a grand slam off Atlanta pitcher Horacio Ramirez. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Rafael Furcal, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.276|
|Wilson Betemit, SS||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.294|
|Marcus Giles, 2B||4||0||1||1||0||0||3||.297|
|Chipper Jones, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.302|
|Pete Orr, 3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.285|
|Andruw Jones, CF||4||2||2||1||0||0||2||.277|
|Dan Kolb, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.243|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.322|
|Kelly Johnson, LF||2||0||1||2||0||0||0||.242|
|Anthony Lerew, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Andy Marte, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.156|
|Macay McBride, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jim Brower, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Todd Hollandsworth, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.247|
|Brian McCann, C||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.267|
|c- Brayan Pena, PH-C||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.156|
|Horacio Ramirez, P||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.224|
|Ryan Langerhans, LF-CF||3||1||2||0||0||0||1||.253|
|a-struck out for Lerew in the 6th|
|b-hit into fielder's choice for Brower in the 8th|
|c-singled for McCann in the 7th|
|2B - Adam LaRoche (25, Lidle), Ryan Langerhans (18, Lidle)|
|3B - Kelly Johnson (3, Lidle)|
|HR - Andruw Jones (50, Geary)|
|SF - Marcus Giles (3)|
|RBI - Marcus Giles (54), Andruw Jones (125), Kelly Johnson 2 (40)|
|2-OUT RBI - Kelly Johnson 2 (16)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Outfield Assists - Andruw Jones 1|
|E - Marcus Giles (11, throwing error)|
|Horacio Ramirez (L,11-9)||3||8||7||6||1||2||1||4.65|
|Pitches-Strikes - Horacio Ramirez 66-43, Anthony Lerew 42-24, Macay McBride 28-17, Jim Brower 25-11, Dan Kolb 9-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Horacio Ramirez 5-3, Anthony Lerew 2-2, Macay McBride 2-0, Jim Brower 1-1, Dan Kolb 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Horacio Ramirez 19, Anthony Lerew 11, Macay McBride 5, Jim Brower 6, Dan Kolb 4|
|Jimmy Rollins, SS||5||2||3||1||0||1||0||.273|
|Endy Chavez, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.212|
|Jason Michaels, CF-RF||5||1||2||3||0||2||2||.311|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||4||1||1||1||1||0||2||.295|
|Shane Victorino, PR-CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.400|
|Pat Burrell, LF||1||2||1||0||4||0||0||.285|
|Geoff Geary, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Aquilino Lopez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chase Utley, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||1||5||.287|
|Matt Kata, 2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.189|
|David Bell, 3B||5||1||3||1||0||0||0||.245|
|Mike Lieberthal, C||3||2||2||2||0||0||0||.253|
|Todd Pratt, C||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.263|
|Ramon Martinez, 1B||4||2||2||4||1||0||3||.286|
|Cory Lidle, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.163|
|a- Michael Tucker, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.235|
|Aaron Fultz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|b- Tomas Perez, PH-SS||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.240|
|a-flied out for Lidle in the 5th|
|b-flied out for Fultz in the 7th|
|2B - Jimmy Rollins 2 (30, Ramirez, Lerew), Chase Utley (32, Lerew), David Bell (29, McBride)|
|HR - Jason Michaels (4, Brower), Ramon Martinez (1, Ramirez)|
|SF - Mike Lieberthal (5)|
|RBI - Jimmy Rollins (40), Jason Michaels 3 (30), Bobby Abreu (94), David Bell (53), Mike Lieberthal 2 (44), Ramon Martinez 4 (14)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jimmy Rollins (19), Jason Michaels 3 (13)|
|SB - Jimmy Rollins (34, 3rd base off Ramirez/McCann)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Bell-Utley-Martinez|
|Cory Lidle (W,11-10)||5||7||3||3||1||3||0||4.79|
|Pitches-Strikes - Cory Lidle 72-45, Aaron Fultz 19-14, Geoff Geary 12-10, Aquilino Lopez 15-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cory Lidle 4-7, Aaron Fultz 4-1, Geoff Geary 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Cory Lidle 22, Aaron Fultz 7, Geoff Geary 5, Aquilino Lopez 4|
|Attendance - 23125|
|Game Time - 2:46|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Andy Fletcher|