Phillies 5, Braves 4

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Aaron Rowand’s two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Philadelphia Phillies to their third straight comeback victory, 5-4 over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.

The Phillies have won a season-high four straight games and are one game under .500 at 13-14 for the first time since they lost their opener.

Brett Myers pitched seven solid innings and Rheal Cormier (2-0) got one out in the eighth inning for the victory. Tom Gordon pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save in as many chances.

Jeff Francoeur’s RBI single off Ryan Franklin put Atlanta ahead 4-3 in the eighth, but Philadelphia rallied against Mike Remlinger (1-2) after John Smoltz came out following seven strong innings.

Chase Utley started the inning with a single and Rowand connected on an 0-1 pitch, sending a drive into the right-field seats. Rowand had a go-ahead, three-run triple in the seventh inning of an 8-5 win at Florida on Wednesday night and has nine RBIs in his last six games.

Andruw Jones hit his ninth homer, a two-run shot for the Braves, who had won three straight.

Smoltz allowed three runs and seven hits, striking out five and retiring the last 12 batters he faced.

Myers gave up three runs – two earned – and five hits, striking out five. He lowered his ERA to 3.11, while the rest of Philadelphia’s starters – Jon Lieber, Cory Lidle, Gavin Floyd and Ryan Madson – have a combined ERA of 6.42.

The Phillies scored three in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead, but the Braves chipped away. Atlanta loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth, but only scored one run on Smoltz’s double-play grounder.

Edgar Renteria started the sixth inning with an infield single, extending his hitting streak to 19 games, counting a hit in the final game last season. Renteria has hit in each of the 18 games he’s played this year, sandwiched around nine games he missed with an injured rib cage.

After Chipper Jones flied out to deep right-center field, Andruw Jones hit Myers’ next pitch into the left-field seats to tie it at 3.

Utley and Rowand had RBI singles in the third and Ryan Howard drove in a run on a fielder’s choice groundout.

Notes: LF Pat Burrell and 3B David Bell weren’t in the starting lineup for Philadelphia. They are a combined 2-for-43 against Smoltz, including Bell’s pinch-hit, pop-out in the seventh inning. … Andruw Jones has 33 homers against the Phillies. He’s only 7-for-33 against Myers, but has four homers. … The Phillies were 0-6 when they had a chance to close within one game of .500. They are 6-10 at home.

AP-ES-05-03-06 2151EDT

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