Philly Sports Live

Harang & Francoeur Shine as Phils Even Series

Aaron Harang made his Phillies debut Wednesday night, in front of a sparse Citizens Bank Park crowd. The 36 year old veteran was signed to a one year contract this winter, and will be called upon for quality starts and innings in 2015. Harang provided just that on this night, going 6.1 shutout innings.

He retired the first 11 men he faced, before finally allowing a two out single in the fourth to Pablo Sandoval. The Red Sox countered with Rick Porcello, whom they signed to a four year $82 million contract this offseason, and he matched Harang inning for inning until the sixth.

Darin Ruf reached base on a one out walk, and Cody Asche followed with a single. Jeff Francoeur would bat next, another veteran player that the Phils added this offseason. Francoeur took Porcello out to left center-field for a three run shot, and a 3-0 Phillies’ lead. The home run had to feel sweet for Franceour, a guy who has been up and down since his days in Atlanta and New York. The Phils would tack on another run in the seventh for a 4-0 lead.

Harang pitched into the seventh inning before being lifted for the bullpen. He allowed just two hits and a walk, while striking out eight. A quality start for sure, and enough to earn his first win in red pinstripes.

Things did get interesting in the eighth when Ken Giles took the mound. The flamethrowing youngster walked three in the inning, and allowed a hit and three runs. Jonathan Papelbon was then called upon for a four out save, and was able to retire Hanley Ramirez on a deep fly ball to left field with the bases loaded.

Papelbon shut the door on his former squad in the ninth to earn his first save of 2015, and preserve the win for Harang. The Phillies and Red Sox will finish off the season opening series tomorrow at 7:05 weather permitting, with David Buchanan going up against Justin Masterson for the Red Sox.

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