By Sam Bush
The Phillies had a chance to make a stand in the battle for the second NL wild card playoff spot last night.
Instead, they went quietly and fell three games behind.
Ronald Acuna Jr. and Josh Donaldson homered to lift the visiting Atlanta Braves past the Phillies 7-2.
Acuna also walked twice and scored three runs while Dansby Swanson had a hit, a run and two walks for Atlanta. Freddie Freeman ripped three hits and Ozzie Albies had two hits for the Braves, who have won 10 of 11.
Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz (6-5) was quite effective in allowing three hits and one run in seven solid innings. He struck out seven and walked none.
Corey Dickerson and Cesar Hernandez homered for the Phillies, who fell three games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second wild-card slot in the National League.
Rhys Hoskins, Brad Miller and J.T. Realmuto had the other three hits for the Phillies, all singles.
Phillies starter Aaron Nola (12-5) struggled early yet lasted six innings and allowed six hits and four runs. Nola’s control was spotty as he struck out seven and walked four.
The Braves jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning highlighted by Acuna’s solo shot, his 38th of the season. It was also Acuna’s 15th career leadoff homer.
Matt Joyce grounded into a double play for the second run of the inning.
In the second, Albies and Freeman each hit an RBI single as Atlanta extended its advantage to 4-0.
Foltynewicz retired the first 13 batters he faced before Dickerson ripped a homer to right, his 10th, as the Phillies closed within 4-1.
Miller singled with one out in the sixth, but Hernandez struck out looking and Realmuto grounded out to third, ending the threat.
Donaldson launched a mammoth three-run home run in the seventh off Phillies reliever Nick Pivetta for a 7-1 lead. It was Donaldson’s 37th homer of the season.
Josh Tomlin pitched the ninth for the Braves, and Hernandez led off with a solo home run to right, his 10th. With a runner on first, Dickerson flied out to center to end the game.