Salazar held the Jays to a single run on two hits and a walk through six-plus innings, striking out seven before handing the ball over to the relief staff.
The Indians scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to make the rookie's debut a winning one, coming away with a 4-2 victory and a 2-1 edge in the series.
Salazar displayed quality stuff, throwing 64 of 89 pitches for strikes and getting first strikes on 15 of the 21 batters he faced, holding the Blue Jays hitless through the first five innings, fanning four of the first six batters he faced.
The winning debut helped Cleveland pick up a game on Detroit, the Tigers dropping a 6-3 decision to the White Sox and are just 2 2 1/2 games back in the division.
Freeman went 3-for-4 with four RBI, doubling in two runs in the first inning, singling home another in the second to put Atlanta up, 3-2, and singling in another run in the fourth to add to the Braves' lead.
Atlanta made three errors in the game, nearly giving the game away, but Craig Kimbrel came on in the 9th for his 25th save, shutting the door on the Reds in the opener of a four-game series.
Freeman, batting .313 with 60 RBI, out-polled LA's Yasiel Puig for the final roster spot on the All Star team.
Game two of the series is set for Friday at 7:30 pm EDT.
Today's Trivia: Name the only three players to drive in more than 2000 runs during their careers. (answer tomorrow)
Yesterday's Answer: In 1921, none other than Babe Ruth scored 177 runs, the most since 1900, a record that stands to this day.