Series: Game 3 of 4

Philadelphia leads 2-1 (as of 9/8)

Game 1: Monday, September 6
Game 2: Tuesday, September 7
Game 2: Wednesday, September 8
Game 3: Wednesday, September 8
Game 4: Thursday, September 9

Phillies 4

(70-69, 34-34 away)

Braves 1

(81-57, 40-28 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 8, 2004

    Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia 

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    PHI 000001102 4 10 0
    ATL 000100000 1 3 1

    W: T. Jones (9-5)

    L: P. Byrd (6-5)

    S: T. Worrell (18)

    Braves suffer first Turner Field sweep

    ATLANTA -- Seeing his club edging closer to full strength only made Philadelphia Phillies manager Larry Bowa more mindful that it's probably too late to make a push for a playoff berth.

    Rookie Gavin Floyd combined with five relievers on a three-hitter and the Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 to complete a doubleheader sweep Wednesday night.

    In the opener, Jim Thome hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth inning to lead the Phillies to a 5-3 victory. Philadelphia outhit the Braves 21-7 in the two games.

    "I know what they can do," Bowa said of the Phillies. "They just didn't get the opportunity to do it this year."

    The only hit Phillies relievers allowed in eight shutout innings in the two games was a ninth-inning single by Julio Franco off Tim Worrell in the second game.

    Worrell retired the next three batters for his 18th save. Billy Wagner, another key Phillies player to have missed substantial time on the disabled list, picked up his 17th save in the first game.

    "It's nice, especially in the bullpen, it's nice," Bowa said.

    The Braves' lead in the NL East was cut from 8 to seven games over second-place Florida, which beat the New York Mets 3-0 for its ninth straight win.

    The Phillies won the second game with only one extra-base hit, a fourth-inning double by Ryan Howard.

    Leading 2-1, the Phillies loaded the bases off Juan Cruz in the top of the ninth. Marlon Byrd reached on an error by shortstop Rafael Furcal and moved to second on Todd Pratt's sacrifice. Cruz walked David Bell and gave up a long single to Jimmy Rollins that loaded the bases. Thome walked as a pinch-hitter to force in Byrd for a 3-1 lead. Bobby Abreu's single drove in Bell.

    Byrd robbed Atlanta's Andruw Jones of an extra-base hit by climbing the wall and then reaching back to make a catch in center field in the bottom of the ninth.

    "Andruw deserves that," a smiling Bowa said. "He does that once a night. Payback is deserved because he's such a great center fielder."

    A grinning Jones said Byrd had to make the catch to protect himself.

    "He's lucky that he caught it; it probably would have hit his face," Jones said.

    The Braves were swept in a doubleheader for the first time at home since Aug. 7, 1990, when San Diego won two games at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The Braves had not been swept in any doubleheader since July 22, 1994, at St. Louis.

    Bowa was ejected in the sixth inning of the second game after he argued a called third strike on Pat Burrell. Bowa was thrown out by first-base umpire Lance Barksdale, who called Burrell out on the appeal.

    With the game tied 1-all in the seventh, Rollins hit a two-out single off starter Paul Byrd. Rollins stole second base and then scored on Placido Polanco's single, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead.

    Byrd (6-5) gave up eight hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings, setting a season high with eight strikeouts.

    Floyd, making his second major league start, gave up two hits and one run in four innings. Floyd walked three batters, including two in the fourth, when the Braves took a 1-0 lead on Eli Marrero's RBI single.

    Bowa is under orders to limit Floyd's pitch count.

    "He's shown me a lot. He's got a lot of poise," the manager said.

    Amaury Telemaco, Todd Jones (9-5), Felix Rodriguez, Rheal Cormier and Tim Worrell each pitched an inning.

    The Phillies tied it in the sixth inning when Chase Utley beat out a two-out bunt single, allowing Abreu to score from third base.

    J.D. Drew had to leave the game in the sixth inning after he was hit on his right elbow by a pitch from Todd Jones.

    Drew, 0-for-2 in the game, had his 16-game hitting streak snapped. He is listed as day-to-day with a bruised elbow.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press