Oct 032010
Phillies lefty Cole Hamels

Phillies lefty Cole Hamels

October 3 Associated Press:

ATLANTA (AP) — Tim Hudson and the Atlanta Braves extended retiring manager Bobby Cox’s season for at least one game, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 8-7 on Sunday.

The Braves would win the NL wild card — and get a first-round playoff matchup with San Francisco — if the Giants beats San Diego later in the day.

If San Diego won, it would force a pair of tiebreakers and push the regular season until Tuesday — San Diego and San Francisco would play Monday to determine the NL West champion, then the loser would play in Atlanta the next day for the wild card.

Hudson (17-9) pitched seven innings against the NL East champions and allowed four runs on only two hits — two-run homers by John Mayberry in the third and Jayson Werth in the seventh.

Omar Infante and embattled infielder Brooks Conrad each had two hits and drove in two runs and Derrek Lee hit a homer for Atlanta.

Cole Hamels started for the Phillies and Roy Oswalt relieved in the third.

Hudson left with an 8-4 lead. The Phillies scored three runs off Jonny Venters and Billy Wagner in the eighth. After allowing an RBI single by Wilson Valdez and pinch-hitter Ben Francisco’s two-run double, Wagner struck out Raul Ibanez to end the inning, stranding runners on second and third.

Wagner, who like Cox is retiring after the season, struck out Shane Victorino, Brian Schneider and Greg Dobbs in the ninth — each on called third strikes.

Braves fans in the sellout crowd began chanting “Bobby! Bobby!” after the final out. The celebration on the field was brief and low-key. The players planned to watch the Padres-Giants game in their clubhouse.

The Phillies, hoping for a successful warmup for their postseason run for a third straight World Series appearance, have two new possible health concerns.

Catcher Carlos Ruiz left after he was hit by a pitch on his left arm in the third inning. There was no immediate report on his status. Left-hander J.C. Romero walked slowly off the field with left lower back soreness following a pitch in the sixth, and his status for the playoffs is not known.

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