St. Louis at Atlanta

Venue: Turner Field
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The St. Louis Cardinals' fifth starter spot has been quite a revolving door this season, but for now, it's Joe Kelly's to lose.

That's assuming he remembers how to pitch.

Kelly hasn't seen game action in more than two weeks, but the visiting Cardinals are hoping he can pick up where he left off as he takes the mound Saturday against the Atlanta Braves.

St. Louis (62-38) has tried Kelly, Tyler Lyons, John Gast and Michael Wacha at the end of its rotation over the past few months, with each having varying degrees of success.

The Cardinals have only needed a fifth starter twice since June 22, but there are no longer conveniently placed off days on the schedule. Beginning with a home sweep of Philadelphia earlier this week, St. Louis has 21 games in a 20-day stretch before its next scheduled rest Aug. 12.

That means some additional opportunities for Kelly (1-3, 3.88 ERA), who has mainly worked in long relief but made a pair of starts prior to the All-Star break. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three starts this season and 1-0 with a 2.49 ERA in his last four outings overall, going at least five innings apiece in a pair of long relief appearances and two starts.

"I don't look too far ahead about anything,'' Kelly said after allowing one run over 5 1-3 in a 3-2 win over the Cubs on July 12. "I go out there and when they tell me to pitch, I pitch. That's what's good about being versatile, and I'm just still happy to be here.''

That, however, is the last time Kelly has taken the mound, marking his longest gap between pitches in the majors.

It's been a day longer since Matt Holliday last stepped into the batter's box, but he's been activated from the disabled list and will start. The left fielder passed all of the necessary running tests to return after straining his hamstring July 11.

He'll be taking the field in a venue where he's fared quite well. Holliday is a career .383 hitter in 23 games at Turner Field - his best average of any road site where he's played at least 10 games - and he'll bring a 16-game hitting streak in Atlanta into his first look at Julio Teheran (7-5, 3.25).

The right-hander's 2.73 ERA since the beginning of June is tied for the best in the Braves' rotation over that span with Tim Hudson, who's out for the season with a fractured ankle. Teheran held the Mets to one run over six innings Monday in New York before Atlanta (58-45) plated a pair in the ninth to win 2-1.

Mike Minor held the Cardinals to a lone run over seven in Friday's series-opening 4-1 win, and without Hudson, the Braves may be relying on the left-hander and Teheran to front their rotation.

"With Huddy going down, that was our ace," Minor said. "That was our best guy. We just need everybody else to step it up a little bit.''

The Cardinals have the best record in baseball through 100 games, but they haven't won a road series since mid-June and are in danger of dropping another one.

St. Louis went 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position, just the ninth time all year it's failed to get a hit in such situations. The Cardinals still lead the league in that category this season (.338) and this month (.353), but the Braves (.325) - who went 3 for 7 on Friday - have been the NL's next-best team in July.

Neither Kelly nor Teheran have faced their respective opponent previously.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Joe Kelly, RHP
2013 stats
48.2 Innings Pitched 119.0
1-3 Wins-Losses 7-5
3.88 Earned Run Average 3.25
15 Walks 25
38 Strikeouts 100
77 Pitches Per Start 96
Career vs. opponent
- Innings Pitched -
--- Wins-Losses ---
- Earned Run Average -

Julio Teheran, RHP
Weather
weather image  High level clouds. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
82°F70°F7mph/SW62%22%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
St. Louis1st NL Central9072.556-6-4 W 1
Atlanta2nd NL East7983.488173-7 W 2
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Julio Teheran
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Beltran000000
Carpenter000000
Choate000000
Craig000000
Cruz000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Joe Kelly
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Upton32000.667
Carpenter000000
Constanza000000
Freeman000000
Gattis000000
 

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Injuries
St. Louis
PlayerInjury
J. GarciaShoulder
Y. MolinaOblique
S. RobinsonShoulder
K. SiegristHand
Atlanta
PlayerInjury
B. BeachyElbow
P. BeatoElbow
G. FloydElbow
C. GearrinElbow
K. MedlenElbow
M. MinorShoulder
S. SimmonsShoulder
J. VentersElbow
A. WoodForearm
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 6MIA 4:10 PM EDT  
Apr 7MIA 7:10 PM EDT  
Apr 8MIA 7:10 PM EDT  
Apr 13ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Apr 14ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Apr 15ATL12:10 PM EDT  
May 15MIA 7:10 PM EDT  
May 16MIA 4:10 PM EDT  
May 17MIA 1:10 PM EDT  
Aug 6ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 7ATL 7:35 PM EDT  
Aug 8ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Aug 9ATL 5:10 PM EDT  
Aug 31ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 1ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 2ATL12:10 PM EDT  
Sep 25MIA 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 26MIA 4:10 PM EDT  
Sep 27MIA 1:10 PM EDT