- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Aaron Harang lacked command of his pitches, and it was most evident on a costly mistake in the first inning.

Harang gave up a three-run home run to Yasiel Puig and the Los Angeles Dodgers held on for a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.

Puig launched a hanging curveball into the seats in left with two outs in the first to put the Dodgers up 3-0.

“Poorly executed pitch,” Harang said.

Philadelphia battled and later got within a run on Jeff Francoeur’s homer in the eighth inning, but the Phillies couldn’t come all the way back. The Phillies lost for only the fourth time in their last 17 games. They still have the worst record in baseball at 42-66.

“Although we lost, we fought them pretty hard,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “We’re not out of games. We had a good chance to come back and win that game. There are a lot of positives.”

Harang (5-12) reverted back to the form that saw him lose eight straight games prior to winning his last start. The right-hander allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings. He tied his season high with five walks and had one strikeout.

“I wasn’t establishing fastball command early enough,” Harang said. “You put yourself in a hole when you fall behind in the count. I can’t do that.”

Harang spent nearly the entire month of July on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, but he said his foot is healthy. His command still needs work though.

“Just missing some pitches,” he said. “I was off today.”

Following Puig’s homer, the Phillies got a run back in the third on Maikel Franco’s RBI double.

Harang labored through 104 pitches, but gave up only one more run on Adrian Gonzalez’s fifth-inning groundout that put Los Angeles ahead 4-1.

“I knew I had to settle down right here (after the first inning),” Harang said. “Everybody has been playing well. Earlier in the year, everybody would’ve been down. But the dugout right now, the way we’re going, somebody is going to step up. We all know that.”

Francoeur did in the eighth, with his two-run shot to left off Jim Johnson bringing Philadelphia to 4-3. But it wasn’t enough.

Howie Kendrick had three hits to help the Dodgers win for the fifth time in six games.

Brett Anderson (6-6), who hadn’t pitched since last Tuesday thanks in part to two off days since his last start, won for the first time since July 1. He allowed one run on four hits in six innings while striking out five and walking two.

“He was really sharp tonight,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

Kenley Jansen struck out the side in a 1-2-3 ninth for his 20th save in his 21st opportunity.

ROLLINS’ RAVES

Former Phillies standout Jimmy Rollins received a standing ovation during his first at-bat for the second straight night. Rollins, who starred in Philadelphia for 15 seasons prior to his trade to Los Angeles last offseason, went 0 for 3.

EXTRA WORK

Puig’s homer was the Dodgers’ lone extra-base hit, marking the 97th consecutive road game Los Angeles has an extra-base hit. Los Angeles, which started the streak last June 20, is 30 games away from tying the Cardinals for the modern-day NL record.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: 2B Chase Utley, on the DL since June 23 with right ankle inflammation, went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI for Double-A Reading on Wednesday night against the Trenton Thunder in his third minor league rehab game. The Phillies will re-evaluate Utley on Thursday before determining whether to continue the rehab assignment or bring him back to the majors. Mackanin said Utley wouldn’t play every day upon his return, “but he’s going to get some playing time.” … RHP Chad Billingsley will have his surgically repaired right elbow re-examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Thursday. Billingsley, who is trying a comeback with the Phillies this season after two right elbow surgeries, has been on the DL since July 19. He is 2-3 with a 5.84 ERA in seven starts this season.

UP NEXT

Dodgers RHP Zach Greinke (10-2, 1.41) takes the mound against RHP David Buchanan (2-5, 6.44) as the teams wrap up the three-game series Thursday. Greinke allowed one hit in eight scoreless innings, striking out eight and walking none, in the Dodgers’ 6-0 home victory over the Phillies on July 9.


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