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Alec Asher recovers from shaky 1st in big league debut, but Phillies fall 9-4 to Padres

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PHILADELPHIA — Alec Asher showed he can recover from a slow start.

Asher allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings in his major league debut for the Philadelphia Phillies in Sunday's 9-4 defeat to the San Diego Padres.

A 2012 fourth-round pick of Texas, Asher (0-1) was acquired in the July 30 trade that sent ace left-hander Cole Hamels to the Rangers.

The right-hander needed 27 pitches to get out of a shaky first inning. The Padres scored two runs on Matt Kemp's drive to left for his 16th homer, extending his on-base streak to 19 straight games.

"You gotta give up one eventually," Asher said. "The first one's out of the way. Let's go from there."

Asher steadied himself and pitched into the sixth.

"You gotta love that kind of grit," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "I liked his stuff, liked his approach. You don't expect a guy making his major league debut to have that poise and mound presence. He battled through and got us to the sixth inning."

James Shields pitched seven innings for his first road win since May, and the Padres hit three homers.

"He really picked us up today and we needed it," San Diego interim manager Pat Murphy said.

Shields (10-6) allowed one run and six hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. The right-hander was 0-4 with a 5.63 ERA in his previous eight road starts since his last win away from Petco Park on May 24.

"I felt like I was locating pretty well with my fastball today," Shields said. "I was being more aggressive with it."

Kemp, Justin Upton and Yangervis Solarte went deep for San Diego, which avoided losing all six games versus the Phillies this season.

"As a group the offense has to feel good about today," Murphy said. "Our big guys came up big."

Cameron Rupp homered and Odubel Herrera had four singles for Philadelphia.

Asher set a franchise record by becoming the fifth starter this season to make his major league debut.

Rupp's opposite-field shot in the second got Philadelphia within 2-1 and made it seven homers in 16 games for the catcher.

PHOTO: San Diego Padres' Justin Upton, right, and Matt Kemp, center right, celebrate a 9-4 win with teammates following the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
San Diego Padres' Justin Upton, right, and Matt Kemp, center right, celebrate a 9-4 win with teammates following the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Upton cleared the wall in left-center in the third for his 24th homer, and Shields put the Padres up 5-1 with his first RBI of the season and fifth of his career on a sixth-inning single.

The Padres padded their lead with three runs in the eighth. Derek Norris and pinch-hitters Clint Barmes and Brett Wallace each drove in a run.

Phillies reliever Adam Loewen started the inning but left without recording an out after giving up four singles and a walk.

DAD WITH CALL

Asher's father, Bob, introduced his son prior to his third-inning at-bat. Bob Asher is the public address announcer at Joker Marchant Stadium, which is the Florida spring training home of the Detroit Tigers.

Alec Asher was focused on his at-bat and didn't hear his father make the call.

"I didn't realize it until after it happened when I saw his face on the big screen," he said.

GOOD TRIP

Yonder Alonso had three hits for the Padres, finishing their road trip 8 for 19.

SLUMP BUSTER

Cesar Hernandez had two hits with a triple and an RBI after entering the game in a 2-for-21 slump. Mackanin thought about resting Hernandez, but decided to let him battle out of the slump.

"That's what we need to see if he's going to be the everyday second baseman," Mackanin said.

Hernandez said it's a matter of being more selective at the plate.

"If you swing at bad pitches, they're going to throw it every time," he said.

UP NEXT

Padres: San Diego starts an 11-game homestand on Monday night when RHP Tyson Ross (9-9, 3.42 ERA) faces Texas RHP Colby Lewis (14-6, 4.38 ERA).

Phillies: Philadelphia heads to New York for a three-game series against the Mets beginning on Monday night when rookie RHP Jerad Eickhoff (1-1, 2.25 ERA) opposes Mets RHP Bartolo Colon (11-11, 4.68 ERA). The Mets swept the Phillies, outscoring them 40-21, at Citizens Bank Park last week.

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