Howard’s early blast paces Phillies to win over Braves

For the second straight game, Ryan Howard provided the pop needed. A first-inning home run erased a deficit and set the Phillies on the path for a series win.

Just as it was in the opener, an error proved to be the difference, as the Phillies held off a late rally from the Braves for a 5-4 win at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday afternoon.

It was a struggle for both starting pitchers in the first inning.

Jerome Williams loaded the bases with two outs and surrendered a two-run single to Jace Peterson to give the Braves an early lead.

The Phillies countered in the first off Trevor Cahill, as Howard belted a two-out, three-run home run to give the Phillies the lead.

In the third, the Braves tied the game on back-to-back doubles by Freddie Freeman and Kelly Johnson.

The Phillies would reclaim the lead in the fifth. Freddy Galvis came around to score on an RBI triple by Ben Revere. It was Revere's third triple of the season.

Another run scored in the seventh as Galvis, who was 3-for-3 on the day, came home on an error by Freeman that allowed Odubel Herrera to reach.

Williams pitched 6 2/3 innings allowing three runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out two.

Luis Garcia recorded the final out of the seventh and Ken Giles allowed one walk in a scoreless eighth, getting the game into the hands of Jonathan Papelbon.

It was a struggle for Papelbon as well, however, as he allowed a one-out home run to Alberto Callaspo to cut the lead to one. He also allowed two more runners to reach base before getting Kelly Johnson to fly out to deep left field to end the game.

The Phillies claimed their first series win at home against the Braves since the 2013 season and just their second series win of the season.

They hit the road for 10 games, starting with a four-game series in St. Louis beginning on Monday night. First pitch of the series opener against the Cardinals is at 8:15 p.m.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
ATL 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 10 1
PHI 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 X 5 6 1
W: Jerome Williams (2-1)
L: Trevor Cahill (0-3)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (4)
Attendance: 28,702

Kevin Durso is a contributing writer and editorial assistant for Philliedelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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