Rookie outfielder David Dahl has made an immediate impact for the Colorado Rockies. Another rookie, right-hander Jake Thompson, is hoping to do the same for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 22-year-old Thompson makes the first home start of his major league career Friday night, when the Phillies open a three-game series against Colorado. He will be opposed by right-hander Jon Gray (8-5, 4.26).
Thompson, hit hard on the road by the San Diego Padres in his debut Saturday, faces a lineup that includes Dahl, the Rockies' top-rated prospect. Dahl, who was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on July 25, singled in the first inning of the Colorado's 12-9 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday afternoon, extending his career-opening hitting streak to 17 games.
That equaled a major league record to open a career established by the Cincinnati Reds' Chuck Aleno in 1941.
“It's pretty cool,” Dahl told MLB.com. “I really haven't thought much about it, besides looking on Twitter.”
Dahl is hitting .358 for the Rockies (56-59), who snapped a four-game losing streak Thursday. They boast three of the major leagues' top 10 hitters in D.J. LeMahieu (.326, fourth), Carlos Gonzalez (.323, sixth) and Charlie Blackmon (.317, ninth).
Nolan Arenado is also fourth in homers with 30.
The Rockies, however, continue to benefit from the thin air at Coors Field. Their .303 home average is best in the majors, while their .242 road average is 23rd.
The series in Philadelphia caps a five-game road trip for the Rockies, while the Phillies (53-63) return from a 3-3 road swing. They concluded the trip with a victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, but dropped the first two games of that series.
Thompson surrendered four runs in the first inning in San Diego, and went 4 1/3 innings in the 9-7 loss, allowing six runs and seven hits while striking out one and walking two.
“I wasn't nervous,” Thompson told MLB.com. “I was kind of amped up, instead of being nervous. Especially in that first inning, I just wasn't able to spin the ball for strikes or be able to get fastballs down in the zone.”
Phillies manager Pete Mackanin told MLB.com that Thompson was overthrowing, the result being that the ball was up in the strike zone.
“Kind of typical for a guy making his debut,” Mackanin said.
Thompson was acquired as part of the package that came from the Texas Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade last July. Thompson, who was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley before his start in San Diego, went 8-0 with a 1.21 ERA in his last 11 starts for the IronPigs, and was 11-5, 2.50 in 21 games this season.
Gray, a 24-year-old in his first full season, yielded eight runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings in a 10-7 loss to the Miami Marlins his last time out, striking out three and walking one.
The Phillies continue to struggle at the plate. They have scored 431 runs, third-fewest in the majors, and their .239 team average is only better than the New York Mets (.236). Their .220 home mark is worst.