Braves tab Spencer Strider for Game 3, Charlie Morton in Game 4 of NLDS

PHILADELPHIA -- The Atlanta Braves turned to rookie Spencer Strider to start Game 3 of their divisional series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday afternoon, while veteran Charlie Morton will get the ball in Game 4, the team announced Friday morning.

Strider, 23, hadn't pitched in a game since Sept. 18 because of a minor oblique issue, but after several bullpen sessions over the past week, the Braves declared him ready to go.

Strider gave up 5 runs on three hits over 2 1/3 innings, walking two and striking out four as the Phillies defeated the Braves 9-1 to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

The team waited to make the announcement as it contemplated how he would be most effective in the best-of-five series after not throwing in a game for almost a month. Atlanta also could have pitched him out of the bullpen.

"That's probably the biggest discussion, is how we're going to use this kid for our best advantage," Braves manager Brian Snitker said Thursday.

Strider was fantastic during the regular season, when he posted a 2.67 ERA as a reliever and then a starter. He's likely to finish the year as a finalist for NL Rookie of the Year and recently signed a long-term contract to remain with the Braves.

"I feel good, and hopefully it keeps trending in that direction," Strider said of his injury recently.

He was opposed by Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola, who gave up one unearned run on five hits over six innings.

Meanwhile, 15-year veteran Morton will start Game 4 for Atlanta on Saturday. He didn't have his best season but has a history of performing well in the playoffs.

Morton, 38, had a 5.40 ERA in September but has a career mark two runs lower in the postseason. He was 9-6 with a 4.34 ERA in 31 starts this year. Philadelphia has not named a Game 4 starter.

The series is tied, 1-1.