Teixeira, Chipper help Braves get closer in wild card

Braves 10, Phillies 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Given an opportunity to control their playoff hopes, the Philadelphia Phillies turned into scoreboard watchers again.

Mark Teixeira hit a three-run homer and Chipper Jones had a two-run shot, helping the Atlanta Braves keep their slim playoff hopes alive with a 10-6 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

The Phillies dropped one game back in the NL wild-card race
behind San Diego (86-71), which rallied with two outs in the ninth
for a 6-4 victory at San Francisco. Colorado beat Los Angeles and
is tied with the Phillies at 85-72.

Philadelphia remained two games behind the East-leading Mets, who lost 10-9 to Washington. The Phillies and Mets have five games remaining.

"Our team knows what they have to do," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We've been coming back all year, scratching and clawing. We'll keep playing."

Jimmy Rollins hit a solo homer to become the second player in team history with 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in the same season. Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Chase Utley also connected for the Phillies (85-72).

Atlanta (83-74) has won nine of 11 and needs to keep winning and get some help to reach the playoffs after a one-year absence. The Braves won an unprecedented 14 straight division titles before missing out last season.

"We know what we have to do. We have to win," manager Bobby Cox said. "We'll give it our best shot."

Pat Burrell's sacrifice fly off Jeff Bennett (2-0) gave the Phillies their first lead, 5-4 in the fifth, but Atlanta answered quickly against Jamie Moyer (13-12) in the sixth. Jeff Francoeur doubled to start the inning and Andruw Jones followed with an RBI single to tie it.

Moyer pitched to one more batter, retiring Brian McCann on a bouncer to the mound. Geoff Geary entered and Matt Diaz lined his first pitch for an RBI single to give the Braves a 6-5 lead. After Yunel Escobar doubled with two outs, Edgar Renteria hit a two-run single to make it 8-5.

"It was a matter of keeping the momentum and I didn't do a good job of it," Moyer said.

Utley's solo homer off Manny Acosta in the seventh cut it to 8-6. Chipper Jones connected off Tom Gordon in the ninth for insurance runs.

Desperate to see their Phillies end a 14-year playoff drought, a crowd of 39,129 cheered wildly and frantically waved white-and-red "Fightin' Phils" towels. They left disappointed.

"Every game we approach the same way. We try to win," Utley said. "There's no extra pressure added."

Moyer gave up six runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. The 44-year-old left-hander has one win in five starts this month, though he pitched well in his previous two outings.

Braves starter Chuck James didn't fare any better. He allowed four runs and three hits, all homers, in 3 2/3 innings. Bennett gave up one run in 1 1/3 innings.

After Rollins hit a leadoff homer, James cruised until the fourth. He retired 10 straight, striking out five, before running into trouble.

The left-hander walked Burrell on four pitches and fell behind Howard 2-0, prompting a visit from pitching coach Roger McDowell. Whatever he said didn't help.

Howard hit the next pitch over the Phillies' bullpen in center field for his 43rd homer. With two outs, Werth went deep to tie it at 4.

Moyer got in trouble right from the start. Escobar led off with a double and Renteria walked. Moyer got Chipper Jones to pop out to first, but Teixeira hit a drive high off the brick batter's eye in center field to make it 3-0. Moyer nearly struck out Teixeira looking on two close pitches that painted both corners. Plate umpire CB Bucknor didn't give Moyer the call, so he threw one down the middle and Teixeira ripped it.

"Two weeks ago, it looked like we were out of it," Francoeur said. "Maybe we can sneak in the back door."

One pitch before he hit his 26th career leadoff homer and ninth this season, Rollins hooked a shot just outside the foul pole in left.

As he rounded the bases, fans chanted "MVP!" The switch-hitting shortstop is having the best season of his career and is a main reason Philadelphia is in the playoff race.

Rollins, who is only 5-foot-7 and 170 pounds, is the first player in major-league history to have at least 200 hits, 15 triples, 25 homers and 25 steals in the same year.

McCann's RBI single in the fourth gave Atlanta a 4-1 lead.

Game notes
Utley extended his hitting streak to 19 games. ... Rollins, who has 37 steals, joins Bobby Abreu as the only Phillies to have 30-30 seasons. Abreu did it in 2001 and 2004. ... Teixeira has 52 RBIs in 50 games with the Braves. ... James has allowed 32 homers in 30 starts.

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