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Joe Kelly stars in Cardinals' 6-2 win over Braves

By JEFF BERLINICKE
Associated Press
  •  

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Joe Kelly pitched into the sixth inning and had three hits to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Saturday.

Kelly went 5 1-3 innings, allowing four hits and a run. He became the first pitcher to have three hits in a spring training game since Chris Volstad did it for the Marlins in 2010.

Kelly singled three times, drove in two runs and scored twice.

The right-hander made 37 appearances for the Cardinals last season, including 15 starts, and went 10-5 with a 2.69 ERA. He pitched into the postseason and said he feels like a permanent part of the staff heading into the season.

''I went deep into the game,'' Kelly said. ''I had some quick outs and that should always be a goal for me. I saw the whole lineup.''

The Braves, still reeling from the possibility of beginning the season without ailing pitchers Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen, started non-roster invitee Gus Schlosser, who allowed three runs, two earned, and four hits in four innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

Schlosser was expected to work out of the bullpen this season, but will likely stretch his arm out in Triple-A at the start of the year as an insurance policy for the starting rotation.

STARTING TIME

Cardinals: Kelly's outing was the longest by a St. Louis pitcher all spring. ''That was a great performance,'' manager Mike Matheny said. ''He was trying to be a one-man show today. He was still throwing up to 95-97 (mph) in the sixth and he was still going after the hitters. I liked what I saw.''

Braves: Schlosser was his own worst enemy while allowing three runs in the third inning. He misplayed a grounder that led to the first run and put two runners in scoring position. ''I felt good,'' Schlosser said. ''I had one bad inning, but overall I did my job. I just tried to show what I can do if given the chance. I didn't feel out of my comfort zone at all.'' Schlosser has made 55 starts in his minor league career but hasn't pitched in Triple-A yet.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves: Medlen and Beachy are expected to get checked out Monday by Dr. James Andrews to see if they will need second Tommy John surgeries. ... SS Andrelton Simmons missed the game with a sore knee. He is day to day.

BATTING CHAMP FOR A DAY

Kelly said the Cardinals are stressing that their pitchers spend more time on hitting, and it paid off with his 3-for-3 day. ''We were one of the worst-hitting teams in baseball last year when it came to pitchers,'' Kelly said. ''We are trying to take shorter swings and just get the ball over the infield. It was pretty fun today. We're working on it because we were so close to being last in almost every category last year.'' Kelly has a career batting average of .152 in two seasons with St. Louis.

HELP WANTED

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he would be taking a long look at plenty of ''insurance policies,'' including Schlosser, to pick up the slack for Atlanta's injured starting pitchers. In addition to Medlen and Beachy, Minor might miss the first couple weeks of the season. As for his rotation when the team goes north, Gonzalez said he has a lot of thinking to do. ''I haven't decided whether to go with four starters at the start of the year or five,'' he said. ''I just want to see what we have just in case.''

 
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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Players of the Game
Atlanta

J. Schafer
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
St. Louis

J. Kelly
IP 5.1
H 4
ER 1
BB 0
K 3
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Peter Bourjos , CF3110011.353.421.471
Daniel Descalso , SS4012122.391.440.435
Jhonny Peralta , SS4001022.192.192.500
Allen Craig , 1B4000022.346.346.462
Matt Adams , 1B3110011.310.310.448
Shane Robinson , LF3110100.318.348.364
Scott Moore , 3B3000013.240.296.480
Tony Cruz , C3110012.118.167.118
Joe Kelly , RP32320001.0001.0001.000
Randal Grichuk , CF1000010.222.290.407
Stephen Piscotty , RF0000100.348.407.652
Joey Butler , PH-RF1000012.235.316.294
Greg Garcia , 2B1000010.333.500.333
Xavier Scruggs , 1B1000001.300.500.600
Totals3468531316  
BATTING
2B - P Bourjos (2)
RBI - D Descalso 2 (5); J Peralta (5); J Kelly 2 (2)
S - P Bourjos (2)
BASERUNNING
SB - M Adams (1); S Robinson (2); S Moore (1)
St. Louis Cardinals
Joe Kelly (W,1-1) 5.14110307.71
Zach Petrick 1.22111105.87
Lee Stoppelman 1.010011011.25
Trevor Rosenthal 1.01000102.25
Atlanta Braves
Jason Heyward , RF3010011.351.400.595
Justin Upton , LF3000001.143.250.179
Freddie Freeman , 1B3000011.353.436.500
Evan Gattis , C3000001.189.189.351
Chris Johnson , 3B3110000.293.310.415
Dan Uggla , 2B3000021.250.421.464
Ramiro Pena , 3B2110100.345.367.517
Jordan Schafer , CF4021012.231.286.359
Gus Schlosser , SP0000000.000.000.000
Ryan Doumit , PH-C1000001.226.294.323
Ernesto Mejia , 1B1011000.344.400.563
Jose Constanza , LF1000002.355.394.419
Phil Gosselin , 3B1010000.333.333.533
Steven Lerud , C0000100.700.727.700
Tyler Greene , SS1000012.167.286.167
Joey Terdoslavich , RF1000002.148.303.296
Tommy La Stella , 2B1010000.289.372.368
Todd Cunningham , PH1000001.208.231.458
Totals322822615  
BATTING
2B - R Pena (5); P Gosselin (1)
RBI - J Schafer (4); E Mejia (4)
S - G Schlosser (1)
Atlanta Braves
Gus Schlosser (L,0-1) 4.04320501.93
Jordan Walden 1.02110104.50
Ian Thomas 1.02221304.26
Cory Gearrin 1.00000108.22
Ryan Buchter 1.00001205.14
Luis Vasquez 1.00001100.00