ATLANTA - The Phillies are bowing out of the National League East race in spectacular fashion.
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Just when it looked like they were on their way to the kind of win that could provide a little emotional fuel and keep them alive for a few more days, they fell flat on their collective face in suffering a completely disheartening 6-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park Friday night.
The pertinent facts:
• The Phillies rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to break a 1-1 tie.
• The Braves responded quickly and with a vengeance in scoring five runs in the bottom of the seventh.
• The emotional victory reduced the Braves' magic number for winning the NL East to two. They can wrap up the division with a win over the Phillies Saturday afternoon.
House of horrors
Back in late March, the Phillies' season started with a couple of difficult-to-swallow losses to the Braves in Atlanta. The losing has continued right up until fall's doorstep. The Phillies are 2-6 in SunTrust Park this season.
A gift rally
The Phillies scored three times in the top of the seventh inning to take a 4-1 lead.
The rally was aided by a misplayed ball in left field by Atlanta super-rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. The misplay, on a catchable liner by Wilson Ramos, scored two runs and Jose Bautista followed with a single for a third run.
Often it's the Phillies giving away runs with their defense. This time they benefitted from poor defense.
Briefly, at least.
The Braves taste it
The Braves overtook the Phillies in the standings in early August and there is no holding them back now. They looked completely unfazed by the Phillies' rally in the seventh and answered back with five runs in the bottom of the inning. Four of the runs were charged to veteran reliever Pat Neshek, who opened the frame by allowing a single, a two-run homer, a walk and a single.
The Braves tied the game on a double by Ender Inciarte (remember him?) against Luis Avilan and took the lead for good with two outs on a full-count, two-run single by Johan Camargo. Those two runs were huge because the Phils made it a one-run game in the bottom of the ninth.
Roman Quinn had third base swiped with one out in the top of the third, but he came off the bag on his head-first slide and was tagged out.
The Phils wasted a leadoff triple by J.P. Crawford in the sixth.
A defensive shift cost the Phils their first run in the third inning.
Arrieta for the save
Jake Arrieta will get the ball Saturday afternoon as the Phils try to stave off elimination. He will be opposed by Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz.