Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/24)

Game 1: Friday, September 23
Game 2: Saturday, September 24
Game 3: Sunday, September 25

Phillies 2

(83-72, 38-39 away)

Reds 3

(72-82, 42-38 home)

    7:10 PM ET, September 24, 2005

    Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    PHI 000000110 2 7 1
    CIN 10200000 - 3 4 0

    W: E. Milton (8-14)

    L: E. Brito (1-2)

    S: D. Weathers (15)

    Phillies fall to 2 games behind Astros in NL wild card

    CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Philadelphia Phillies couldn't come up with another ninth-inning comeback.

    NL wild-card standings
    Team W L Pct. GB
    Astros 85 70 .548 --
    Phillies 83 72 .535 2
    Marlins 80 75 .516 5
    Nationals 78 77 .503 7

    The Phillies were unable to overcome a three-run deficit and lost 3-2 to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, falling two games behind Houston in the NL wild-card race.

    Philadelphia allowed 13 hits and 10 runs Friday night, but used a five-run ninth to beat the Reds 11-10. The Phillies gave up only four hits and three runs Saturday.

    "The bottom line is we've got to win and keep on going," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think we've still got a shot. Before the game, if you had told me they were only going to score three runs, I would have said we win that game."

    Eric Milton rebounded from the shortest start of his eight-year career to beat his former team, and Adam Dunn backed him up with a two-run homer.

    The Phillies scored a run in the seventh and another in the eighth to get within one run, but David Weathers pitched a perfect ninth as Philadelphia had its three-game winning streak snapped.

    Weathers blew a four-run lead Friday, but bounced back to earn his 15th save in 19 opportunities. He struck out David Bell -- who hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the ninth on Friday -- then got Ryan Howard and pinch-hitter Michael Tucker to ground out.

    Phillies center fielder Jimmy Rollins singled in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 29 games, tying the major league season high set by Boston's Johnny Damon from June 10 through July 17.

    Milton (8-14) threw 6 2/3 shutout innings before giving up a run on Todd Pratt's single against the team for which he played in 2004. He signed with Cincinnati as a free agent during the offseason.

    "It was one of those nights," Milton said. "I had things working. It was just a matter of getting ahead, throwing strikes and getting the first out. They've got a tough lineup. When you have Howard hitting sixth or seventh, you've got some big boppers at the bottom of the lineup."

    Milton allowed eight hits and eight runs in 4 1/3 innings of a 12-2 loss at Philadelphia on May 13.

    "He had more velocity on his fastball, his changeup was slower, and he had sharper breaking stuff," Pratt said. "He had better stuff than he did in May."

    Milton allowed five hits and one run with one walk and three strikeouts in seven innings. He got just two outs and gave up six hits and six runs last Sunday in Cincinnati's victory at Pittsburgh, but interim manager Jerry Narron never thought about taking Milton out of the rotation.

    "He pitched one of his better games," Narron said. "He's given us some really good games, but I don't think even he can explain the struggles he's had. It's definitely there. Everybody knows he's going to be around the plate and challenge guys. I'm sure tonight's performance will leave him in a positive frame of mind, no matter what he does in his last start."

    Phillies starter Eude Brito (1-2) threw 28 pitches while the Reds were taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. With two out, Brito walked Dunn and Rich Aurilia and hit Austin Kearns with a pitch. Dunn scored on Jason LaRue's single to left, but left fielder Pat Burrell threw Aurilia out at the plate to end the inning.

    Dunn followed Brito's one-out walk to Felipe Lopez in the third with his 38th homer, a 416-foot drive into the right-field bleachers. The homer was his first in 13 games and 46 at-bats -- both season highs -- dating to Sept. 9, when he homered off Pittsburgh left-hander Oliver Perez.

    Brito hadn't allowed a home run in 14 2/3 innings over his last three-plus starts. He gave up three hits and three runs with four walks three strikeouts in four innings.

    The Phillies broke up the shutout in the seventh on rookie Howard's two-out triple Pratt's single.

    Pinch-hitter Shane Victorino cut the lead to one in the eighth, following Rollins' leadoff double and stolen base with a sacrifice fly.

    Game notes

    Rollins's hitting streak is the second-longest in Phillies history. Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty had a 31-game streak in 1899. ... Burrell now has 10 outfield assists, the most he's had in a season since he led the National League and tied for the major league lead with 18 in 2001. ... Brito has walked seven in 6 1/3 innings over is last two starts after walking a total of three in his first three. ... Howard's triple was the first of his career. ... Ryan Freel reached when interference was charged on Pratt in the seventh, giving Pratt his first error in a span of 124 games dating to May 7, 2003, at Arizona.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press