Originally written September 12, 2013 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
While the St. Louis Cardinals were originally hoping Joe Kelly would shore up the back end of their rotation, he's looked more like someone who belongs in the front. Looking to extend his personal winning streak to nine, Kelly tries to lead the NL Central-leading Cardinals to a season high-tying sixth consecutive victory in Thursday night's series finale against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. Kelly (8-3, 2.74 ERA) has greatly surpassed expectations since transitioning to the rotation July 6, going 8-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 11 outings. St Louis has won all but one of those games while backing him with an average of 6.58 runs of support. The right-hander is looking to win a sixth straight start after yielding one run in six innings to beat Pittsburgh 12-8 on Friday. "You've just got to make pitches when you need to," said Kelly, who surrendered a season high-tying eight hits and three walks. "I just tried to battle ... and make pitches when I needed to." Though it wasn't his sharpest display, Kelly induced 13 groundouts and managed to avoid the big inning. "That's something we didn't give him a lot of opportunity to do early in the year," manager Mike Matheny told MLB's official website. "When he got in trouble, we would normally try and get him out. ... He's earned that opportunity to work himself through it and he continues to be able to get big outs when he needs to." Another solid showing could help the Cardinals (85-60) inch closer to the division title. Currently one game ahead of second-place Pittsburgh, St. Louis has won five in a row, including its last four by a 23-5 margin. Matheny's club won six straight April 30-May 5. Leading the majors with 114 runs, Matt Carpenter has scored 14 and hit .390 in 10 games this month. Matt Holliday has four homers and an NL-best 20 RBIs since Aug. 21. The Cardinals stayed hot Wednesday in a 5-1 victory, their 12th in 15 matchups versus Milwaukee (62-82). Matt Adams capped a four-run eighth inning with a two-run homer, and Holliday added two hits and two runs. "I'm frustrated," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I'm tired of getting leads and just giving them away. We've got to win some of these games where we get leads." Losers in eight of 11, the Brewers will try to bounce back behind Tyler Thornburg (1-1, 2.08). The right-hander is 0-1 despite a 1.13 ERA in four starts this year. "I wouldn't say I'm more comfortable (starting). It's just what I'm used to. I'm sure if I'm in the bullpen for two or three years, I'm sure I'll get comfortable with that," said Thornburg, who could be auditioning for a spot in next year's rotation. He takes the mound for the first time since allowing two runs in six innings in a 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Sept. 2. In his only appearance versus St. Louis, Thornburg surrendered two solo homers and four walks in 4 2-3 innings of a 4-3 victory July 18, 2012. Kelly, who went 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA in three starts versus Milwaukee last season, has yielded four runs in three innings of relief this year. Norichika Aoki is 5 for 9 with two doubles in their matchups. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, hitting .318 with 11 homers and 65 RBIs in 120 games, missed Wednesday's win due to what Matheny called a family situation. Brother Bengie Molina, the club's assistant hitting coach, is also away from the team.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Carson Palmer's nerve injury 'still lingering'

Adam Dunn to retire after 14-year MLB career

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision, will learn from it

Tiger Woods to open restaurant in Florida next year

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

Mark Davis: Raiders head coaching job will be 'enticing'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fan on Craigslist offers Nats playoff tickets for threesome

Brady snubs rookie Garoppolo after touchdown pass

Cung Le suspended for failed HGH test

FCC Chairman: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

What will the A’s Look Like in 2015?

Major League Baseball's 2014 All-Disappointment Team

Jeter introduces 'The Players Tribune,' 'The Voice of the Game'

Grading each NFL's team's play at quarter-season mark

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

WATCH: Brett Favre in new nose hair trimmer commercial

WATCH: Michigan students protest, call for AD to be fired

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.