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Braves, Cards tied in wild card race

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves are doing their best to give away what looked like a certain playoff berth just a few weeks ago.

Derek Lowe had another miserable outing, surrendering five runs in four-plus innings, and the Philadelphia Phillies romped to a 7-1 victory Tuesday night that left the Braves on the brink going to the final day of the regular season.

Chase Utley, Hunter Pence and Jimmy Rollins homered for the playoff-bound Phillies to back a three-hit outing by Roy Oswalt (9-10), who tuned up for the playoffs with a strong performance in a largely disappointing season.

The Braves lost their fourth in a row and eighth in 11 games, sending them to the final day of the regular season tied with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Cardinals 13, Astros 6

HOUSTON (AP) — The Cardinals are tied with Atlanta for the National League wild-card lead, getting a clutch two-run triple from Ryan Theriot in the seventh inning of a victory over the Astros.

If the teams are tied after Wednesday’s game, St. Louis will host a one-game playoff on Thursday night.

The Cardinals trailed 5-0 early and appeared to be headed for a second straight loss to the Astros. But St. Louis scored five times in the fourth and erased a 6-5 deficit with a four-run seventh.

Lance Berkman hit a two-out single and scored on Allen Craig’s tying double. Yadier Molina walked before Theriot’s triple made it 8-6.