KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Joe Kelly remembered his last game appearance, when there was a lot more had stake.
Pitching for the first time since the NL championship series, Kelly opened his bid for a spot in the St. Louis Cardinals' starting rotation with two hitless innings in Friday's 8-8 tie against the Houston Astros.
"There were no people calling me names out there today," Kelly said. "Warming up today in the bullpen, we had Cardinal fans down there, cheering you on, instead of people using derogatory terms and just screaming out hate and blasphemy towards you."
Among three candidates to replace the injured Chris Carpenter in the Cardinals' rotation, Kelly walked one hitter in each inning. He's competing with Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal, and was the last of the three to pitch in an exhibition game.
"For the past three days I've been reminded by everyone in the clubhouse: Are you ever going to pitch?'" Kelly said. "I think it made me even more anxious to get out here. I'...