Published May 03, 2016
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Phillies take aim at their first three- game winning streak of the season on Friday when they open a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park.
After losing the first two in their four-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Phillies rebounded to take the final two games, including a 4-2 win on Thursday. Aaron Harang tossed eight solid innings and Ryan Howard and Freddy Galvis each had three hits to help the Phillies secure a split.
Harang (4-3) scattered five hits and a walk while striking out six in his seventh quality start of the young season.
"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.
Heading to the hill for the Phillies on Friday will be righty Chad Billingsley, who has lost both of his starts since returning from Tommy John surgery that cost him most of the 2013 campaign and all of 2014. Billingsley has not looked sharp either, allowing 11 runs in 10 innings of two starts.
Billingsley, who hasn't won a game since April 10, 2013, absorbed the loss on Sunday against the New York Mets, as he yielded five runs and eight hits in five innings.
"I had a little better control of my fastball," said Billingsley. "I was more confident with my pitches, being able to locate. I felt good. Obviously, the results aren't there. Go back to work and keep improving."
Arizona, meanwhile, will hand the ball to righty Chase Anderson, who has pitched well, but is 0-1 with a 2.97 ERA. The D-backs lost his fifth straight start on Saturday, as San Diego reached him for only a run and five hits over seven innings.
"I stuck to my game plan, got early outs and was able to go deep in the game," said Anderson. "As a starting pitcher, that's what you want to do (to) give your team a chance to win the game."
Arizona dropped the rubber match of its three-game series with the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, 9-6, as Michael Taylor's grand slam in the top of the ninth proved to be the difference.
The Diamondbacks had at least one batter reach base in every inning up until the ninth. Paul Goldschmidt had three hits in the loss and finished a homer short of the cycle.
"Unfortunate way to lose, but you can't do anything but bounce back in the next game," Goldschmidt said.
Philadelphia won four of six from the D-backs last season.