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Asher enjoyed experience of his first start

PHILADELPHIA -- At the very least, Phillies rookie Alec Asher had a memorable afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

Asher is one of five prospects the Phillies acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade in July. He became the second of those prospects to make his big league debut, when he started Sunday's 9-4 loss to the Padres. Asher allowed eight hits, four runs, one walk, two home runs and struck out three in 5 2/3 innings.

"I liked him," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "I liked his stuff. I liked his approach. He got behind too often, he left the ball up in the zone a little too often. It's understandable when a guy is in his first Major League appearance in front of his home [fans]."

Asher acknowledged he had some nerves early in the game, but he became more comfortable the more he pitched and he left feeling like he can succeed at this level.

Video: SD@PHI: Asher fans Gyorko for first career strikeout

"I thought I was all right," he said. "I made a couple of bad pitches that I paid for. But I mean, I wouldn't take back the experience. It was great. You obviously want to win. But you take the experience and learn from it."

Padres right fielder Matt Kemp hit a 1-0 fastball to left field for a two-run home run in the first inning to hand the Padres a 2-0 lead. Padres left fielder Justin Upton then ripped a 2-0 fastball to left field for a solo homer to make it 3-1.

Asher allowed a two-out single to James Shields in the sixth to make it 4-1.

Mackanin said he liked how Asher kept his composure after the homer to Kemp in the first. Asher kept calm. He kept pitching. And he almost escaped with a quality start, if not for the hit to Shields.

"You don't really expect a guy making his first appearance at the Major League level to be that poised and have that kind of a mound presence," Mackanin said. "We're fortunate that we've got [Aaron] Nola who did, [Jerad] Eickhoff who did it and actually so did Asher today. He really came back after struggling in the first inning."

Video: SD@PHI: Asher's dad announces son's first at-bat

Asher joked Saturday that he might be more nervous to hit than pitch. He had not hit since he signed with the Rangers following the 2012 Draft, when he was a fourth-round selection. Deep down, maybe Asher felt a little more comfortable when he realized his father Bob Asher introduced his first at-bat over the PA system.

Bob is the PA announcer for the Class A Advanced Lakeland Flying Tigers.

It was a nice touch on a milestone day.

"I didn't realize it until after it happened," Asher said. "I got in the box, looked up and saw his face on the big screen. But it made sense afterward."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
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