ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Braves are doing their best to give away what looked like a certain playoff berth just a few weeks ago.
Derek Lowe had another miserable outing, surrendering five runs in four-plus innings, and the Philadelphia Phillies romped to a 7-1 victory Tuesday night that left the Braves on the brink going to the final day of the regular season.
Chase Utley, Hunter Pence and Jimmy Rollins homered for the playoff-bound Phillies to back a three-hit outing by Roy Oswalt (9-10), who tuned up for the playoffs with a strong performance in a largely disappointing season.
The Braves lost their fourth in a row and eighth in 11 games, sending them to the final day of the regular season tied with the St. Louis Cardinals, who beat Houston 13-6 Tuesday night.
Cardinals move into tie in NL wild-card race
HOUSTON (AP) - The St. Louis Cardinals are tied with Atlanta for the NL wild-card lead, getting a clutch two-run triple from Ryan Theriot in the seventh inning of a 13-6 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
The sliding Braves lost 7-1 to Philadelphia, sending the race for the NL's final playoff spot to the final day of the regular season. If the teams are tied after Wednesday's game, St. Louis will host a one-game playoff on Thursday night.
The Cardinals trailed 5-0 early and appeared to be headed for a second straight loss to the Astros. But St. Louis scored five times in the fourth and erased a 6-5 deficit with a four-run seventh.
Lance Berkman hit a two-out single and scored on Allen Craig's tying double. Yadier Molina walked before Theriot's triple made it 8-6.
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