The Philadelphia Phillies are giving plenty of their youngsters a chance to prove themselves at the major league level in the midst of an otherwise lost season.
Adam Morgan takes the mound and fellow rookie Aaron Altherr looks to continue the solid start to his career as the Phillies host the slumping San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
Rookie Aaron Nola held the Padres (62-66) to two hits through seven innings of Friday's 7-1 win that snapped the Phillies' four-game losing streak, and Altherr joined Carlos Gonzalez in 2008 as the only players since 1974 to have their first seven major league hits go for extra bases.
The 24-year-old has two homers, four doubles and Friday's eighth-inning triple in eight games since making his season debut Aug. 18. He went hitless in five at-bats when he was called up for two games in 2014.
''I hope he does that the (rest of the) year,'' manager Pete Mackanin said.
Morgan (4-4, 4.43 ERA) has taken some lumps since making his major league debut June 21, but none worse than Monday. He gave up five runs, four homers and seven hits over 3 2-3 innings of a 16-7 loss to the New York Mets in the shortest of his 11 starts.
''He made a lot of bad pitches,'' Mackanin said. ''He had been pitching well. He didn't have his good stuff.''
The left-hander hopes to regain the form he had when he faced the Padres on Aug. 8. He allowed one earned run in six innings of a 4-2 victory while giving up one extra-base hit, a double to pitcher Tyson Ross.
Morgan will be matched up with fellow rookie Colin Rea (2-1, 5.52) in this contest as the Phillies (51-78) look to win a seventh straight home meeting with the Padres.
Rea made his major league debut Aug. 11 and won his first two starts before giving up five runs in four innings of Sunday's 10-3 loss to St. Louis. He allowed four runs in the first after pitching into the sixth in each of his previous outings.
"He didn't have his best stuff and didn't command his fastball on the outer edge as he did his first and second outings," manager Pat Murphy said. "So therefore, he was a little vulnerable.''
The right-hander threw 94 pitches against the Cardinals, but he'll now face a Phillies team that entered Friday's series opener ranking 27th in the majors in fewest pitches faced per plate appearance at 3.72.
Rea looks to help the Padres avoid a fifth loss in six games after Justin Upton's homer accounted for their only run Friday. Cory Spangenberg's double was their only other hit as San Diego finished with two or fewer for a sixth time this season.
Matt Kemp missed his second straight with a sore left shoulder suffered when he dove for a ball in Wednesday's win over Washington. He's batting .338 with four homers during a 17-game streak of reaching base, and his status for this contest is uncertain.
''He's our guy,'' Murphy said. ''He makes our offense go and makes everybody else better.''
Philadelphia has won all four meetings this season and 10 of the last 13 overall.