Howard blasted a three-run home run in the 10th inning as the division-leading Phillies bounced back from one of their toughest losses all season to beat the Pirates 4-1 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
The Phightins led 1-0 going into the ninth but the Pirates tied it when Brandon Moss hit the team's first pinch-hit homer of the season off reliever Ryan Madson.
Charlie Manuel opted not to use closer Brad Lidge after he surrendered rookie Andrew McCutchen's game-ending, two-run homer that finished off the Pirates' 6-4 comeback victory on Tuesday.
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Madson's gaffe cost Cole Hamels his first victory since July 28.
Hamels was excellent all night. He scattered seven hits and two walks over eight scoreless innings while striking out seven Bucs.
But like many things in life glee turned to failure after Madson blew fifth blown save in nine opportunities. Despite blowing the save "Mad Dog" wound up taking his fifth win after pitching two innings in relief.
The win was the 13th in 16 games for the Phils.