Halladay Opens Phillies Season With a Win

Halladay didn't give up a hit after the first inning

Roy Halladay allowed just two hits in eight nearly flawless innings and the Philadelphia Phillies opened with a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.

The two-time Cy Young winner, making his 10th straight opening day start, settled down quickly after a shaky beginning for the defending NL East champions.

Halladay didn't give up a hit after the first inning. He walked none and struck out five.

For Halladay and the Phillies, 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 playoffs.

Carlos Ruiz had three hits for the Phillies. His sacrifice fly in the seventh provided all the run support Halladay needed.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his first save in the National League.

Pirates starter Erik Bedard nearly matched Halladay pitch for pitch, giving up only one run in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one.

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

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.

This is the first season opener the Pirates have lost since 2006.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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