Final in 10

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/27)

Game 1: Friday, September 26
Atlanta6Final
Philadelphia0
Game 2: Saturday, September 27
Atlanta6Final
in 10
Philadelphia7
Game 3: Sunday, September 28
Atlanta5Final
Philadelphia2

Braves 6

(100-61, 45-35 away)

Phillies 7

(86-75, 49-31 home)

    1:15 PM ET, September 27, 2003

    Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

    12345678910 R H E
    ATL 0310100010 6 10 0
    PHI 0100200121 7 14 0

    W: R. Cormier (8-0)

    L: R. King (3-4)

    Lopez ties catcher HR record

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Meaningless in the standings, these games mean plenty to Jim Thome and the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Thome hit two homers to take the league lead with 47 and scored the winning run in the 10th inning, leading Philadelphia past NL East champion Atlanta 7-6 Saturday in the next-to-last game at Veterans Stadium.

    Javy Lopez hit his major league-record 42nd homer as a catcher this season, and Julio Franco and Gary Sheffield also went deep for the Braves, who lost ground in their pursuit of home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

    "He's unbelievable," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said of Thome, in his first season with the Phillies after 10 years with Cleveland. "He continues to rise to the occasion. He's given the fans their money's worth and he's given the Phillies their money's worth."

    Atlanta entered with a one-game lead over San Francisco for the NL's best record. The Giants played a doubleheader against Los Angeles on Saturday.

    The Phillies snapped a six-game losing streak by rallying to tie the game in the ninth against closer John Smoltz, who had converted 45 of 48 save chances this season.

    "I'll be replaying this one over and over," Smoltz said. "I threw a lot more pitches than I wanted to."

    Thome led off the 10th with a double off Ray King (3-4). He moved to third when Pat Burrell lined out to right off Trey Hodges and scored on Chase Utley's RBI single. Utley hit a sharp grounder off the glove of shortstop Jesse Garcia, who made a dive to his left.

    Rheal Cormier (8-0) pitched a scoreless 10th for the Phillies.

    "I was just trying to hit a sacrifice fly or get a single," Utley said.

    Atlanta led 6-4 in the ninth. But Jimmy Rollins' two-out double off the right-field wall drove in Jason Michaels. Bobby Abreu then lined a 3-2 pitch into the right-center field gap, scoring Rollins to tie it at 6.

    The Phillies, atop the NL wild-card standings a week ago, were eliminated from the playoff race Thursday night after being swept by Florida. They are closing out the Vet this weekend after 33 seasons, and will move into Citizens Bank Park next year.

    "As special as this weekend is and all the people here, hopefully we can end it on a good note," Thome said.

    Lopez's homer in the second inning broke Todd Hundley's 1996 mark for the position. Lopez also has one homer as a pinch-hitter, giving him 43 overall.

    He drove a 2-1 pitch from Amaury Telemaco over the left-field wall in the second inning. Lopez stood at the plate briefly, admiring his blast, then tossed his bat and jogged slowly around the bases.

    Braves starter Mike Hampton pitched two innings in his final tuneup for next week's Game 2 start in the playoffs. Hampton threw 16 pitches, giving up one run and three hits.

    Shane Reynolds pitched two scoreless innings, and Darren Holmes allowed two runs.

    Roberto Hernandez and Kevin Gryboski each tossed a scoreless inning, and Will Cunnane gave up a run in one inning, before Smoltz blew the lead in the ninth.

    Telemaco gave up three runs and four hits in two innings in his shortest start for the Phillies this season.

    After Lopez gave the Braves a 1-0 lead, Franco followed with his fifth homer to make it 2-0. Rafael Furcal's two-out RBI single drove in Vinny Castilla for a 3-0 lead.

    Thome, who entered tied with Milwaukee's Richie Sexson and San Francisco's Barry Bonds for the NL lead in homers, cut it to 3-1 with his solo shot in the second. A solo shot off Cunnane in the eighth drew the Phillies to 5-4.

    "You don't imagine coming to a new league and hitting that many homers," said Thome, who pulled to within one homer of tying Mike Schmidt's franchise record set in 1980.

    An RBI double by Andruw Jones in the third off Brandon Duckworth gave the Braves a 4-1 lead. Sheffield's 39th homer in the fifth off Duckworth made it 5-1.< ^Notes: The All-Vet team was introduced to the sellout crowd of 58,303 before the game. It included two Hall of Famers: 3B Schmidt and LHP Steve Carlton. Tug McGraw, who has brain cancer, was the team's closer. He received a loud ovation as he jogged onto the field. ... Cy Young Award winners John Denny and Steve Bedrosian threw out the first pitches. .... Phillies RHP Ryan Madson made his big league debut, pitching two perfect innings. INF Anderson Machado made his debut, stealing a base as a pinch-runner.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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