PHILADELPHIA - Cody Asche and Ethan Martin experienced the exhilaration and frustration of being a major-league rookie together during the the past 10 days.
On Thursday afternoon, the duo each recorded major-league firsts to propel the Phillies to a much-needed win.
Asche hit his first home run, while Martin earned his first victory as Philadelphia beat Chicago 12-1 before 42,510 fans at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies promoted Asche from triple-A on July 30 and Martin on Aug. 2.
"We're going through all this together," Asche said of himself and Martin. "It's nice to have a friend that's doing the same thing. It just so happened we both did something cool on the same day."
With the victory, the Phillies (52-62) finished the homestand a disappointing 3-6.
Philadelphia fell completely out of playoff contention, but the play of the 23-year-old Asche, the 24-year-old Martin and 26-year-old Darin Ruf gives the team hope for the future.
Asche went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
The third baseman doubled and scored in the second inning. The left-hander lined a pitch into the right-field stands off Cubs starter Jeff Samardjiza for a two-run home run in the fourth inning.
"Cody came (into the dugout) just smiling," Martin said.
Asche is now batting .231 since being promoted. Asche managed just one hit in his first 17 at-bats but went 5-for-9 in three games against the Cubs.
"When you (first) get up here, you have a lot of emotions, plus you have family in town," Asche said.
"Now my emotions are under control on defense and at the plate. Whenever you can do that, you can settle in and be yourself."
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. believes better days are ahead for Asche.
"Cody can hit and Cody can play," Amaro said. "He's going to make himself a better player. A lot of people talk about him being a mini-Chase (Utley). He has a little bit of that mentality."
Meanwhile, Martin made his second start. The Phillies acquired him from the Los Angeles Dodgers in last summer's Shane Victorino trade.
Martin features a fastball in the mid-90s and can overpower hitters. At times, he loses command and puts runners on base.
Asche said he loves playing defense behind Martin because the pitcher is competitive and attacks hitters.
Some speculate that he might be better as a reliever, but Amaro said the team sees him as a starter for now.
"The beauty of Ethan is that he's done both (relieve and start)," Amaro said. "Right now, there's no reason to take him out of the rotation. He's done a good job for a youngster, and I like what I've seen so far."
On Thursday, Martin allowed four hits and one run in five innings. He struck out four and walked three.
"It's nice to get (the first win) under my belt," Martin said. "It's been a lifelong dream."
In addition to Martin and Asche, Ruf hit a two-run home run. He is now batting .303 with five home runs since being promoted from triple-A on July 7 after Ryan Howard went down with a knee injury.
Ruf has played the last three games in right field.
The Phillies find themselves in fourth place in the National League East. In what has been a lost season, Ruf, Asche and Martin are reasons for fans to watch the team the rest of the season.
When you combine those players with 25-year-olds Domonic Brown and Ben Revere, the Phillies have reasons to be optimistic about the future.
"It's important to have the (young players) continue to move forward," Amaro said, "because they're going to be important elements in dictating what kind of success we have."
Contact Michael McGarry: