Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - 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.
"I'm having fun," Harang said. "I know what I can do and I know my limitations. And I know that I have to control myself and get through tough situations and trying to stay positive."
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.
"We got tipped in the wrong direction after the first," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
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.
"He's squaring up the ball much better, getting pitches to go with that," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Howard. "Gaining confidence goes with that. I would say (he's had) better quality at-bats and making good contact and getting rewarded for that."
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.
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.