ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates have no worries about posting their first winning record in 21 years, a milestone that will come soon enough.
Also, they won't have to face Joe Kelly again.
"Tonight we pushed him. We were one big hit away," manager Clint Hurdle said after the St. Louis Cardinals pulled to a half-game back of the NL Central leaders with a 12-8 victory on Friday night. "But it's no secret. I mean, he's been doing it for six weeks."
Carlos Beltran had RBIs his first two at-bats to help chase A.J. Burnett early and Kelly (8-3) stranded 10 runners in six innings. Burnett has a 5.25 career ERA in St. Louis.
"They seem to get ahold of me here and that's a good lineup, and I thought I could have done more," Burnett said. "Finger's pointed at me, not the ballpark."
Carlos Beltran had RBIs his first two at-bats to help chase A.J. Burnett early and Kelly beat the Pittsburgh Pirates for the third straight time.
Burnett (7-10) gave up five runs in three innings, his shortest outing of the year, and the Cardinals opened a seven-run seventh with nine straight hits off three relievers including Yadier Molina's three-run homer off Bryan Morris. The Pirates have lost two straight, both blowouts, and remain a win shy of clinching their first winning season since 1992.
"It's just another number closer to our goal," Andrew McCutchen said. "So, we're just trying to continue to keep going, continue to keep pushing, continue to keep winning, and show up tomorrow and be ready to go."
Kelly has been the stopper lately for a struggling rotation, winning five straight starts. He's 8-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 11 appearances since getting the fifth spot in late June and then waiting 14 days because of off-days in the schedule to make that start.
Since the All-Star break, Kelly is 7-0 with a 1.70 ERA.
Leadoff man Matt Carpenter tripled and doubled to tie Albert Pujols' season record of 98 hits in 2008 at 8-year-old Busch Stadium, also his major league high 55th multihit game. Jon Jay, coming off a 1-for-20 trip, had three hits and three RBIs.
The Pirates have scored two runs in 18 innings against Kelly. The only thing the right-hander hasn't done is save the bullpen, working six innings in each of his last five starts with a season best of 6 1-3 innings.
Pittsburgh had five base runners and no runs the first two innings and stranded 10 runners in six innings against Kelly, who allowed one run and eight hits. Pedro Alvarez, who grounded out with the bases loaded to end the first, had an RBI single in the fifth.
Cut pounds of stomach fat every week by using this 1 weird old tip.