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Phillies drop Braves into wild-card tie with Padres

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- The Braves are running out of chances to send Bobby Cox into retirement with one more playoff appearance.

Vance Worley combined with four relievers on a three-hitter and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the punchless Braves 7-0 Saturday to drop Atlanta into a tie for the NL wild-card spot.

Atlanta's loss and San Diego's 4-2 win over San Francisco left the Braves and Padres tied for the wild card with one game left in the regular season.

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"We've got to suck it up and win a game," Cox said. "We have to, tomorrow. We need to win and we've got the right guy going and we need to bust open with the bats a little bit.

"We're still breathing, San Diego is still breathing, the Giants are breathing hard. They've done what we've done, they've lost two in a row to the wrong teams. We need to win."

The Braves' hopes of advancing to the postseason in Cox's final season as manager will be on the line against the Phillies on Sunday. Atlanta ace Tim Hudson is scheduled to face Cole Hamels.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, preparing his rotation for the playoffs, told the Associated Press on Saturday that Hamels will "probably" pitch only two innings. Manuel said Roy Oswalt "will pitch somewhere in the game" behind Hamels.

Manuel has selected Roy Halladay and Oswalt as his first two starters in the best-of-5 division series.

The Braves can earn their first postseason berth since 2005 with a victory Sunday and a Padres loss in San Francisco.

"We're down to the last game; it's good to say it means something," Braves right fielder Jason Heyward said. "We've been through a lot this season."

The game followed a tribute to Cox attended by about 70 former players and coaches -- and an Atlanta-record crowd of 54,296. During the ceremony, Cox congratulated Manuel and the Phillies for winning the NL East.

"That was very classy," Manuel said. "That was typical of Bobby Cox."

The Braves won 14 straight division titles under Cox from 1991-2005. The Phillies have won four straight with Manuel. The only other NL team to make at least four consecutive postseason appearances was the New York Giants from 1921-24.

The Phillies have outscored the Braves 18-5 in the first two games of the series as Atlanta has squandered its two-game lead over San Diego in the wild-card race. Philadelphia has already clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

"We're not going to let anyone win," said Phillies catcher Brian Schneider, who said the Braves "have to take care of their own business."

Worley, making his second major league start, gave up only a fourth-inning double to Derrek Lee in five innings. He combined with Antonio Bastardo (2-0), Danys Baez, Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras on the shutout.

"Maybe I'll have an opportunity to get a shot at a starting job in spring training," Worley said.

Third baseman Brooks Conrad's throwing error helped the Phillies snap a scoreless tie with four runs in the seventh. It was the second straight day a throwing error by Conrad helped the Phillies take the lead.

After Jonny Venters (4-4) walked Jimmy Rollins to open the seventh, Placido Polanco hit a slow grounder. Conrad charged the ball before throwing wildly to second base. The toss sailed into center field, allowing pinch-runner Brian Bocock to advance to third.

Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez and Shane Victorino had run-scoring singles off Venters. Craig Kimbrell's wild pitch allowed Ibanez to score from third for a 4-0 lead.

Conrad's throwing error led to five unearned runs in the Phillies' 11-5 win over Atlanta on Friday night.

"We made two plays back-to-back nights that caused the floodgates to open up," Cox said.

Conrad was a pinch-hitter and utility infielder most of the season. He became a starter after season-ending injuries to Chipper Jones and Martin Prado.

"I feel terrible again," Conrad said. "Just another terrible throw. I can't explain it."

Utley walked, stole second, moved to third on catcher Brian McCann's throwing error and scored on a single by Ibanez in the eighth for a 5-0 lead.

Wilson Valdez drove in Schneider with a ninth-inning double off Takashi Saito.

Saito, who had been out since Sept. 17 with a sore right shoulder, also forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk to John Mayberry.

Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson gave up six hits in five scoreless innings to finish the regular season 10-11 with a 3.33 ERA. He won only two of 16 starts after the All-Star break despite his 2.51 ERA during that span.

Venters gave up four hits and four runs, two earned, in 1 1/3 innings. He had been limited to one inning in his last 17 appearances since Aug. 25.

Notes

  • Hanson is the first Braves pitcher since the team moved to Atlanta in 1966 to post an ERA of 3.50 or better with a losing record in at least 30 starts.
  • The attendance total was a regular-season record for games at Turner Field and old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The old mark was 53,953 on July 21, 2007, at Turner Field against St. Louis.
  • Victorino had three hits in his return after being away from the team as his wife gave birth to a boy.
  • Polanco returned after having a cortisone shot in his left elbow Wednesday in Philadelphia.
  • The Phillies had 14 hits and left 17 runners on base.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Vance Worley yields one hit through five shutout innings as Philly hurts the Braves' chances at reaching the postseason.  (AP)
Vance Worley yields one hit through five shutout innings as Philly hurts the Braves' chances at reaching the postseason. (AP)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

C. Utley
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Philadelphia

R. Ibanez
AB 6
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Philadelphia Phillies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jimmy Rollins, SS3010102 .243
    Brian Bocock, PR-SS2100015 .000
Placido Polanco, 3B4020001 .299
    Wilson Valdez, PR-3B2111010 .256
Chase Utley, 2B5221113 .277
Ryan Howard, 1B3000234 .277
    Ryan Madson, P0000000 .000
   a- John Mayberry Jr., PH0001100 .273
    Jose Contreras, P0000000 .000
Raul Ibanez, LF6122028 .276
Shane Victorino, CF5031123 .261
Domonic Brown, RF2000001 .210
   b- Ben Francisco, PH-RF3000015 .264
Brian Schneider, C3120211 .246
Vance Worley, P2000023 .000
   c- Mike Sweeney, PH1000011 .253
    Antonio Bastardo, P0000000 .000
   d- Greg Dobbs, PH0000100 .200
    Danys Baez, P0000000 .000
    Ross Gload, 1B1110000 .281
Totals427146915  
a-walked for Madson in the 9th
b-grounded out for Brown in the 6th
c-struck out for Worley in the 6th
d-was walked intentionally for Bastardo in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jimmy Rollins (16, Hanson), Wilson Valdez (16, Saito), Shane Victorino (26, Venters)
RBI - Wilson Valdez (34), Chase Utley (65), John Mayberry Jr. (4), Raul Ibanez 2 (83), Shane Victorino (69)
2-OUT RBI - Raul Ibanez (28)
SB - Chase Utley 2 (13, 2nd base off Venters/McCann, 3rd base off Dunn/McCann)
Team LOB - 17
Fielding
DP - Schneider-Rollins
E - Placido Polanco (5, Misplayed grounder)
Philadelphia Phillies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Vance Worley 5100230 1.38
Antonio Bastardo (W,2-0) 1100010 4.34
Danys Baez 1000010 4.79
Ryan Madson 1100000 2.55
Jose Contreras 1000020 3.34
Pitches-Strikes - Vance Worley 75-47, Antonio Bastardo 11-6, Danys Baez 13-7, Ryan Madson 12-9, Jose Contreras 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vance Worley 7-5, Antonio Bastardo 1-1, Ryan Madson 3-0, Jose Contreras 1-0
Batters Faced - Vance Worley 18, Antonio Bastardo 4, Danys Baez 3, Ryan Madson 4, Jose Contreras 3
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Omar Infante, 2B4010000 .320
Jason Heyward, RF4010001 .275
Brian McCann, C4000021 .269
Derrek Lee, 1B4010012 .259
Brooks Conrad, 3B3000111 .243
Nate McLouth, LF2000120 .190
Alex Gonzalez, SS2000000 .251
Rick Ankiel, CF3000011 .230
Tommy Hanson, P1000000 .097
   a- Eric Hinske, PH1000001 .257
    Jonny Venters, P0000000 .000
    Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
    Mike Dunn, P0000000 .000
    Kyle Farnsworth, P0000000 .000
   b- Freddie Freeman, PH1000000 .167
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
    Scott Proctor, P0000000 .000
Totals2903027  
a-popped out for Hanson in the 5th
b-grounded out for Farnsworth in the 8th
Batting
2B - Derrek Lee (35, Worley)
SH - Alex Gonzalez (3)
CS - Brooks Conrad (1, 2nd base by Worley/Schneider)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Brooks Conrad (7, Throwing), Brian McCann (14, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tommy Hanson 5600260 3.33
Jonny Venters (L,4-4) 1.1442130 1.97
Craig Kimbrel 0.2000220 0.44
Mike Dunn 0.2211120 1.89
Kyle Farnsworth 0.1000000 3.34
Takashi Saito 0.1222300 2.83
Scott Proctor 0.2000020 6.35
IBB - Dobbs by Craig Kimbrel, Utley by Takashi Saito
WP - Craig Kimbrel (4), Mike Dunn (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hanson 89-54, Jonny Venters 34-23, Craig Kimbrel 18-7, Mike Dunn 25-16, Kyle Farnsworth 5-3, Takashi Saito 25-11, Scott Proctor 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hanson 7-2, Jonny Venters 2-0
Batters Faced - Tommy Hanson 23, Jonny Venters 10, Craig Kimbrel 4, Mike Dunn 5, Kyle Farnsworth 1, Takashi Saito 6, Scott Proctor 2
Game Information
Attendance - 54296
Game Time - 3:26
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Jim Joyce, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Jim Wolf