Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Philadelphia leads 1-0 (as of 4/5)

Game 1: Thursday, April 5
Philadelphia1Final
Pittsburgh0
Game 2: Saturday, April 7
Philadelphia1Final
in 10
Pittsburgh2
Game 3: Sunday, April 8
Philadelphia4Final
Pittsburgh5

Phillies 1

(1-0, 1-0 away)

Pirates 0

(0-1, 0-1 home)

    Coverage:  ROOT

    1:35 PM ET, April 5, 2012

    PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    PHI 000000100 1 8 0
    PIT 000000000 0 2 0

    W: R. Halladay (1-0)

    L: E. Bedard (0-1)

    S: J. Papelbon (1)

    Carlos Ruiz provides Phillies' offense; Jonathan Papelbon debuts

    Associated Press

    PITTSBURGH -- If only Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies had gotten this 1-0 win last October.

    Halladay was nearly flawless for eight innings Thursday and the Phillies showed off their pitching from the start, opening a new season by edging the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Missing injured stars Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, the Phillies scored the lone run they needed on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Ruiz in the seventh.

    New closer Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his first National League save.

    "It was a good game for us," Halladay said. "It went the way we wanted and Papelbon came in and got his feet wet and got that out of the way. All in all I think it was a good way to do it."

    For Halladay and his teammates, it was a familiar score with a different winner. Their season ended last year when Halladay lost a 1-0 decision to Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals in the deciding Game 5 in the first round of the NL playoffs.

    The Phillies start this season as the favorites to win their sixth straight NL East title.

    Making his 10th Opening Day start, Halladay didn't argue when manager Charlie Manuel opted to bring in Papelbon.

    "I understand at this point," Halladay said. "A couple weeks from now I'm going to fight him."

    The two-time Cy Young Award winner sparkled, giving up just two first-inning singles while striking out five without issuing a walk.

    Halladay was pulled three outs before getting a chance at his 21st shutout.

    "We just didn't get many pitches to hit," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said.

    The Pirates are hardly the Cardinals -- who went on to win the World Series last year -- yet starter Erik Bedard nearly matched Halladay pitch for pitch, giving up only one run in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one, though it wasn't enough to keep Pittsburgh from losing its first season opener since 2006.

    "I've done it before so it wasn't a big deal but it was nice to get the chance to do it with a new team and it was nice to pitch well in front of the fans," Bedard said. "Anytime you lose, though, you wind up disappointed. I wish I wouldn't have been able to hold them off the board but they got one across and that made the difference."

    Ty Wigginton, filling in while Howard continues to rehab his left Achilles, singled with one out in the seventh and John Mayberry followed with a double to right.

    Ruiz, who had three hits, sent a fading liner to right and Jose Tabata made the catch, but Wigginton slid under catcher Rod Barajas' tag to give Philadelphia the lead.

    It was just a run, but it was plenty for Halladay.

    Hurdle has preached the word "finish" as Pittsburgh's mantra for 2012 after the Pirates collapsed following a brief flirtation with first place last July. Pittsburgh could never get started, however, against Halladay.

    Baseball's best pitcher over the last decade gave up singles to Alex Presley and Jose Tabata to start the game, eerily similar to the two hits he allowed against St. Louis in that Game 5 last fall. The Cardinals, however, turned those hits into the game's only run.

    Pittsburgh -- which brought in veterans Clint Barmes and Barajas to help kick-start one of baseball's weakest offenses last season -- didn't get that close.

    Andrew McCutchen, who signed a $51 million deal last month as the linchpin of the Pirates' rebuilding project, grounded into a double play and Neil Walker flied out to end the first-inning threat.

    That was the only chance the Pirates got against Halladay. Pittsburgh's only two baserunners over the final eight innings came on hit batters.

    "Nobody solves Roy Halladay," Presley said. "I don't need to tell anyone how good he is. He pitched a great game. He shut us down after the first inning."

    And Papelbon took care of the ninth. Manuel never hesitated to bring in the former Boston reliever despite Halladay's dominance.

    Halladay never threw more than 88 pitches during spring training and had 92 in eight innings. That was enough for Manuel.

    "He hadn't been stretched out," Manuel said. "I figure if he went into the ninth and they took some pitches he was going to go to 105 to 112 somewhere in there. By three or four starts starts he'll be wound up to go 115 to 120."

    Bedard tried to his best to keep pace. Mixing speeds and locating his curveball expertly, the lefthander who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career worked quickly. His only bobble came in the seventh, but it was enough to prevent the Pirates from staying unbeaten all-time in Opening Day games against the Phillies.

    Game notes


    Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett, on the 15-day DL, joined the Pirates for Opening Day festivities but is expected to start for Class A Bradenton on Friday. He is eligible to return on April 10 ... Halladay's 10 Opening Day starts are tied for the fourth-most in baseball history ... The two teams are off Friday and meet again Saturday. Jeff Karstens will start for the Pirates while Cliff Lee gets the nod for Philadelphia.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Game Information

    StadiumPNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
    Attendance39,585 (103.2% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:14
    Weather52 degrees, partly cloudy
    Wind4 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Brian Gorman, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Tod Tichenor

    Research Notes

    From Elias: Roy Halladay threw 8 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits and no walks Thursday... He's the first pitcher in Phillies franchise history with 8 scoreless innings, 2 or fewer hits and no walks on Opening Day.
    Roy Halladay threw 44 cutters out of 92 pitches (47.8 percent), a higher percentage than in any of his starts last season. Against Halladay's cutter, Pirates hitters went 0-for-10, with two strikeouts in at-bats ending with the pitch.
    Freddy Galvis grounded into a double play in EACH of his first 2 career plate appearances... * He's the 1st player since David Segui on May 8, 1990 with a GIDP in each of his first 2 career PA (FROM ELIAS). * He's the ONLY Phillies player since the National League began officially recording GIDP to ground into 2 double plays in his major-league debut (FROM ELIAS). * He's the 11th player in the Live Ball Era (since 1920) with 2 GIDP in his major-league debut.
    It's the Phillies' first 1-0 win on Opening Day since April 15, 1930 (beat Brooklyn Robins, currently L.A. Dodgers). It's the Pirates' first 1-0 loss on Opening Day since April 10, 1980 (lost to Cardinals).

    ESPN Stats & Information