Braves tied for wild card after 7-0 loss to Phils
ATLANTA—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.
The Braves' hopes of advancing to the postseason in Bobby 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 pitch only two innings. The Braves can earn their first postseason berth since 2005 with a victory and a Padres loss in San Francisco.
The game followed a tribute to Cox attended by about 70 former players and coaches -- and an Atlanta-record crowd of 54,296. Cox is retiring after the season.
The NL East champion Phillies have outscored the Braves 18-5 in the first two games of the series as Atlanta has lost its two-game lead over San Diego in the wild-card race. Philadelphia has already clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
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.
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.
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 Brian 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.
Conrad's throwing error led to five unearned runs in the Phillies' 11-5 win over Atlanta on Friday night.
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.
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.