The only thing reminiscent of October baseball was the cool weather on Saturday night.
The Phillies were sloppy in a 6-4 loss in 10 innings to the NL-worst Braves at Citizens Bank Park.
Starter Vince Velasquez gave the Phils seven strong innings and was in line for the win in what manager Pete Mackanin said is his final start of the season. Hector Neris induced a foul pop up that was dropped by Maikel Franco to begin the 8th inning. An unearned run would come around to score on an RBI groundout by third baseman Adonis Garcia to tie the game, 4-4.
Reliever Edubray Ramos struggled in the 10th. He allowed the first two Atlanta hitters to reach before allowing a pair of runs on a fielder's choice and a groundout.
The Phillies committed two errors and allowed two unearned runs to cross.
Velasquez's only two blemishes were a pair of solo homers to Garcia.
The Phillies' losing streak is now at five games. They've lost nine out of their last 11 to drop to 60-75.
The Braves have won five straight but remain the worst team in the National League at 53-83.
Starting pitching report
Velasquez mixed his pitches well and attacked hitters instead of nibbling and running up his pitch count. He pitched seven innings giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits. He struck out eight, but more importantly walked none.
It's the first time Velasquez has pitched seven innings since a no decision against the Marlins back on July 19. It was also the first time he hasn't walked a batter since June 27.
The Phillies appeared to figure out Braves' rookie starter John Gant's unorthodox delivery by the second time through the order. Making his first start since June 27, the 24-year-old righty went five innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits while striking out six, walking one and a hitting a batter.
Hector Neris gave up an unearned run on an infield groundout in the eighth. Jeanmar Gomez bounced back from giving up four runs on four hits on Friday to pitch a scoreless ninth on Saturday.
Edubray Ramos allowed the winning run to score on a fielder's choice. He allowed another run on an RBI groundout off the bat of Jace Peterson.
Brandon Cuniff, Shae Simmons and Jose Ramirez each pitched scoreless innings for the Braves. Jed Bradley made his major-league debut and pitched a scoreless ninth.
Mauricio Cabrera pitched a perfect ninth to record his fourth save.
At the plate
Franco went 4 for 5 with three doubles, an RBI and a run scored. It was his first multi-hit game since Aug. 21 in St. Louis. He hadn't knocked in a run since Aug. 20 against the Cardinals.
Cesar Hernandez and Cameron Rupp contributed the first three runs on a solo homer and a two-run double, respectively. Hernandez's line drive shot to right was his sixth of the season. Rupp's double was his 20th of the season. His RBIs were numbers 44 and 45.
It was Garcia's second career multi-homer game. He also tied a career high with three RBIs. Nick Markakis knocked in an unearned run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Phille killer Freddie Freeman was held in check for the early part of the game. Atlanta's first baseman went 1 for 4 -- the lone hit a single in the tenth. Velasquez struck him out twice. An intentional walk in the eighth extended Freeman's on-base streak to 26 games.
Mackanin had a meeting with the Phillies' hitters prior to the game where he emphasized having more disciplined batting practice and a better two-strike approach.
He specifically mentioned Odubel Herrera giving away too many bats. His struggles continued on Saturday as the Phils' lone all star went 0 for 3. Herrera was lifted for a pinch hitter Tyler Goeddel against a lefty in the ninth. His average dropped below .280 or the first time since April 22.
Rookie Jake Thompson (1-4, 7.86) will be opposed by Braves ace Julio Teheran (4-9, 3.12) on Sunday afternoon at 1:35 in the third and final game of the series.