Final Score: Philadelphia 1, Pittsburgh 0
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Roy Halladay tossed eight strong innings to outpitch Erik Bedard, and the visiting Philadelphia Phillies began their quest for a sixth straight National League East crown with a 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Halladay (1-0), making his 10th consecutive Opening Day start, gave up singles to the first two batters he faced, and none thereafter. The 2010 NL Cy Young Award winner recorded five strikeouts and issued no walks. He did hit two Pittsburgh players with pitches.
Former Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon worked a perfect ninth to earn the save in his first game with the Phillies.
"Papelbon came in and did a nice job, got his feet wet," Halladay said.
Carlos Ruiz went 3-for-3 and knocked in the game's lone run with a sacrifice fly.
With first baseman Ryan Howard (Achilles) and second baseman Chase Utley (knees) out for the foreseeable future with injuries, the key to Philadelphia's success centers around their pitching staff. And Halladay got them off on the right foot Thursday at PNC Park, where the Phillies entered play nine games under .500 (13-22), their worst mark at any active NL venue.
Bedard (0-1) scattered six hits, walked one and struck out four over seven frames in his NL debut.
"You got to try to match [Halladay] and I did my best," Bedard said.
Pittsburgh, which hasn't had a winning season since 1992, wasted little time putting a runner into scoring position. Alex Presley singled to centerfield to lead off the first and Jose Tabata followed with a dribbler along the third- base line that stayed fair.
Halladay got Andrew McCutchen, who agreed to terms on a six-year contract last month, to ground into a double play. Pittsburgh wound up stranding a runner at third base.
Like Halladay, Bedard pitched out of trouble in the second as Philadelphia rookie Freddy Galvis, the replacement for Utley, grounded into an inning- ending double play in his first major league at-bat. John Mayberry Jr. and Ruiz had both singled with one out.
The Phillies got on the board in the seventh. Newcomer Ty Wigginton hit a one- out single and Mayberry doubled into the right-field corner. Ruiz then produced a run by launching a fly ball to right.
Philadelphia looked to pad its lead in the next inning, but left two men on base.
Halladay tied Walter Johnson and Steve Carlton for the fourth-most consecutive Opening Day starts made in MLB history...Halladay improved to 7-0 in his last nine road starts. His last loss away from Citizens Bank Park came against the Chicago Cubs on July 18, 2011...Jimmy Rollins made his 12th straight Opening Day start for the Phillies at shortstop, tying Larry Bowa (1970-81) for the club record...Philadelphia opened its season against the Pirates for the sixth time. The Pirates had won each of the previous five meetings...Pittsburgh had also won each of its last five season openers...Bedard split 2011 between Seattle and Boston...Game time: 2:14.
04/05 18:18:47 ET
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