PHILADELPHIA - It's either appropriate or ironic that the Philadelphia Phillies' choice for a midsummer promotion is a Titanic theme party.
If Larry Bowa is playing the part of Captain Smith, he'll need more lifeboats because the Phils' decks are awash,and his ship is about to go under.
Playing the role of iceberg are the Atlanta Braves, who swept into Veterans Stadium Friday night, waited out a nearly three-hour rain delay, then roared past the Phillies, 4-1, before a crowd of 20,422 fans whose primary entertainment was honking on duck calls in salute to starter Brandon Duckworth.
Bowa, one of those rare managers who has survived a spring and summer of firings, steered his club to a second-place finish last year, just two games behind the Braves. But with Friday's loss, the last-place Phillies dropped seven games under .500, and 17 games back of the Braves.
The Braves were uncertain what Damian Moss would offer just five days after an eight-walk outing against the Montreal Expos. But he was the picture of control, shutting down the Phillies on five hits and one unearned run through six innings. He walked just one, and struck out four.
The Braves also profited from the revival of the Jones' boys.
Chipper Jones singled, doubled, walked, and scored two runs, and Andruw Jones homered, walked and scored twice.
Held hitless over the final eight innings of Thursday's win over the Florida Marlins, the Braves sprung to life in the second, when Andruw Jones broke out of his slump by hammering Duckworth's 0-and-1 fastball over the left field wall.
Andruw Jones had just 13 hits in his previous 90 at-bats before launching his 21st home run of the season, just his second since June 23.
The Braves scored two runs the next inning when Duckworth's command deserted him. Chipper Jones singled, then successive walks to Andruw Jones, Vinny Castilla, and Javy Lopez made it 2-0, and Mark DeRosa's sacrifice fly to right added an extra run.
Chipper Jones opened the sixth with a double into the right field corner, and one out later, Castilla rifled a double over right fielder Bobby Abreu's head, sending in Jones to make it 4-1.
Moss staggered through the first two innings, giving up leadoff man Marlon Anderson's single and stolen base in the first. Moss then walked Scott Rolen to open the home half of the second. He got the next two batters before Tomas Perez singled, but Duckworth's infield out ended the threat.
In the fifth, Perez beat out a bunt and sped to second when first baseman Matt Franco's throw went high and wide. Duckworth followed with a line single to right, then Anderson's roller to second sent in Perez. Moss limited the damage by inducing rookie center fielder Jason Michaels to tap to third to end the inning.
Moss was lifted after six, Chris Hammond pitched a scoreless seventh, then Mike Remlinger extended his shutout streak to 13 consecutive appearances with a shutout eighth. John Smoltz closed out the Phils in the ninth for his league-leading 35th save.
Reach Bill Zack at email@example.com
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