Thursday, May 14, 2015

Howard comes alive as Phils earn split with Bucs in matinee

Philadelphia,  PA -- Aaron  Harang's eight-inning  gem and three-hit  days from  Ryan Howard and Freddy Galvis propelled the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Harang  (4-3)  scattered five  hits and a  walk while striking  out six in his seventh quality start of the young season, which enabled the Phillies to split this four-game series after dropping the first two tests.

Howard  had a  solo homer and Galvis scored twice for Philadelphia, with Grady Sizemore contributing an RBI single to the win.

Philadelphia collected eight hits in just four innings against onetime Phillie Vance  Worley (2-3),  who had two of  his three runs allowed unearned due to a pair of Pittsburgh errors.

Josh  Harrison  and Starling Marte each  recorded three hits in the loss, with Marte driving in the Pirates' first run with a ninth-inning double.

Harang's  afternoon actually began with a bit of trouble, as a Harrison single and Marte's double to left put two Pirates in scoring position with two out in the  first  inning. Pedro Alvarez's  liner was  snared by Howard, however, and Pittsburgh  didn't get  a man past first base against the veteran right-hander
the rest of the way.

Four  of  the  eight Pirates  to  reach  against  Harang  were erased  on  the basepaths,  with  Phils catcher Cameron Rupp  throwing out two trying to steal and Harang inducing a pair of double-play grounders later on.

The Phillies gave Harang all the support he needed in the bottom of the first, which began with Ben Revere reaching on an error by Neil Walker.

After Galvis and Howard followed with singles to load the bases, Worley walked Cesar  Hernandez to force  in a run and Sizemore plated Galvis with a base hit up the middle.

Galvis  and  Howard also  singled in  their next  at-bats to help Philadelphia extend the lead in the third, with Galvis crossing the plate when Jordy Mercer mishandled Sizemore's chopper to short.

Howard  made it  a 4-0 game with  his eighth homer of the season, a line-drive shot off Radhames Liz in the fifth.

Pittsburgh  finally  broke through  with Ken  Giles on the  mound in the ninth inning. Marte knocked in Harrison with a double off the wall in left center to force  Jonathan  Papelbon into the  game. The Phillies'  closer gave up a run- scoring  groundout to  Alvarez, but later got pinch-hitter Andrew McCutchen to
pop up to register his eighth save.

Notes: Harang  lowered his  season ERA  at  Citizens Bank  Park to  0.62, tops  among qualified  pitchers at  home. His seven quality starts are tied with Oakland's Sonny  Gray  and the Dodgers'  Zack Greinke for the  major league lead ... The Phillies  won just  once in  seven meetings  with Pittsburgh  last season  ...
Walker  ended  0-for-4 and had an  eight-game hitting streak halted ... Harang improved to 17-8 in 29 lifetime starts against the Pirates.

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