Atlanta, GA – Raul Ibanez had a pair of hits and drove in two runs, and the Phillies capitalized off another error from Brooks Conrad to beat the Braves, 7-0, and deflate Atlanta's playoff chances.
Conrad, whose poor throw to second led to five unearned runs for Philadelphia in Friday's series opener, was off the mark on another throw to second base before the Phillies scored four runs in the seventh inning. The Braves, who need to win only one game in this series to assure themselves at least a tie in the wild card race, are now all square with the Padres after San Diego beat San Francisco on Saturday.
The Phillies, meanwhile, clinched at least a share of the league's best record for the first time in the 128-year history of the franchise.
Vance Worley got the spot start for Philadelphia in place of a resting Roy Halladay and hurled five shutout frames, allowing just a hit and two walks. Antonio Bastardo (2-0) earned the win for throwing a scoreless sixth.
The Braves, who honored outgoing manager Bobby Cox with a lengthy pregame ceremony that included many former players and coaches, managed only three hits in the critical loss.
Tommy Hanson matched Worley with five scoreless innings in the start, but Jonny Venters (4-4) yielded four runs -- two earned -- on four hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings to take the loss.
The scoreless tie finally ended in the seventh, when the Phillies took advantage of another error by Conrad.
Jimmy Rollins walked off Venters and was replaced by Brian Bocock. Placido Polanco sent a groundball to Conrad, who was again off the mark trying to throw to second, leaving runners at the corners; he had a similar situation in a tie game on Friday, only to make a bad throw to second, leading to five unearned runs for Philadelphia.
Saturday's miscue cost the Braves again, as Chase Utley singled past a drawn- in infield to score Bocock with the game's first run.
Utley stole second, and Ibanez singled with one away to score pinch-runner Wilson Valdez. Shane Victorino followed with another RBI base hit for a 3-0 game, ending Venters' outing on the mound.
Later in the inning, a wild pitch from Craig Kimbrel allowed Ibanez to score, and Ibanez added an RBI single in the eighth for a five-run advantage.
As the Braves' offense continued to struggle against the Philadelphia bullpen, Valdez's RBI double and John Mayberry, Jr.'s bases-loaded walk in the ninth accounted for the final margin.
While Worley no-hit the Braves through three innings, the Phillies had several chances to score.
Philadelphia put runners on first and second with one out in the second, but Hanson struck out Worley and got Rollins to ground out to end the threat. Atlanta broke up the no-hitter in the fourth, but couldn't score, and the visitors put a man on third with one out in the fifth. Utley and Ibanez, however, both grounded out without scoring the runner.
The Braves, meanwhile, couldn't push a runner past second before the Phillies broke the game open in the seventh.
In the case where Atlanta and San Diego both win on Sunday, a three-way tie between the Braves, Padres and Giants would occur. For the first time in major league history, two playoff games would occur, where the Braves would take on the loser of Monday's Padres-Giants matchup on Tuesday at Turner Field...The Phillies clinched the season series, having won 10 of 17 games against the Braves this year...Philadelphia's Polanco had an 85-game errorless streak snapped...The Phillies recorded their ninth consecutive series victory on the road and have won 19 of their last 22 series...Utley has reached base safely in 29 straight games...Victorino had three hits, while Polanco, Utley and Brian Schneider each had two...The Phillies have recorded 21 shutouts this season...Attendance was 54,296, the highest in Braves history since moving to Atlanta.