needed a confidence boost, outpitching
is a good start.
Kawakami combined with
on a four-hitter and the
beat Halladay and the
Toronto Blue Jays
1-0 on Friday night in the interleague opener for both teams.
Kawakami (3-5) had lost five of his last six decisions before outlasting Halladay, who leads the major leagues with eight
''I'm not trying to think about the other pitcher too much but I did hear things about how he's on a roll right now,'' Kawakami
said through an interpreter. ''He's been pitching so well, it's a pleasure to pitch against him. Really.''
Kawakami, a 33-year-old rookie, lasted eight innings - his longest outing of the season - and gave up only three hits with
no walks and seven strikeouts.
''It was fun to watch him dominate tonight,'' said
, who scored the only run on
's eighth-inning sacrifice fly.
Halladay gave up five hits with one walk and six strikeouts in seven scoreless innings, ending his streak of wins in five
''When you run into a guy who's pitching well, it makes it tough,'' Halladay said. ''We ran into one who was pitching well.
You have to tip your hat to him.''
Gonzalez escaped a jam in the ninth for his seventh save.
hit a one-out double to left field and advanced to third on
's weak grounder to Gonzalez.
followed with a grounder that a charging
bobbled briefly at third base before recovering to throw to first.
''I was hoping he'd throw it away,'' Toronto manager
Instead, Prado's accurate throw beat Wells by one-half step.
''I just reacted to the groundball,'' said Prado, the fill-in starter for
, who was held out with a sore toe.
''With that guy
running down the line, I didn't want to stay back. I knew he was going to run hard,'' he added. ''I came in to get it and
for some reason - I was watching the runner - the ball just bounced in front of me. I just reacted.''
The Braves took advantage of Halladay's exit to score the game's only run and hand the
their fourth straight loss for the first time since losing seven straight from June 14-21, 2008.
scored a total of five runs in losing three straight at Boston before continuing their nine-game road trip in Atlanta.
''We couldn't score any runs,'' Gaston said. ''We're having trouble scoring runs right now. (Kawakami) threw the ball well.
You can't take anything away from him. They both pitched a very good game.''
Diaz, pinch-hitting for Kawakami, led off the eighth with a double to center off
(1-3) and moved to third on
's groundout to first before scoring on Kotchman's fly to left field.
, shut out for the first time this season, remain one-half game ahead of Boston in the AL East.
Kawakami, who had lost five of his last six decisions and entered the game with a 5.73 ERA, looked to be an unlikely bet to
keep pace with Halladay, the 2003
''He had a 6.00 ERA for so long; he's so much better than that,'' Braves manager
said. ''He was popping the ball. He got his split-finger going. He was just dynamite.''
Kawakami gave up only two hits before
led off the eighth with a double to left. Rolen was left standing at second as
grounded out to Kawakami,
hit a fly to shallow right field, and pinch-hitter
Inglett hit for Halladay, who left after throwing 95 pitches and said ''it's definitely tough'' to leave a 0-0 game.
Kawakami did not last more than six innings in any of his first seven starts, but he looked strong against the
after limiting his pitch count early in the game.
There was a 30-minute rain delay before the start of the game.
Notes: Braves INF
had surgery Friday to have a plate placed in his left hand. A bone in the hand was broken when he was hit by a pitch from
Colorado's Manny Corpas on Wednesday night. ... Toronto called up RHP
from Triple-A Las Vegas. OF
and RHP Bobby Ray were optioned to Las Vegas. ... The Braves optioned RHP
to Gwinnett and recalled RHP
. ... Francoeur stole second base in the seventh, his first steal since Sept. 14, 2007.