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

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 15, 2014 at 5:42 pm •  Published: March 15, 2014
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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.

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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.