Originally written on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 10/23/14
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'm one of the last guys to even throw, but it was good to get out there. "I'm not too happy about my walks. I felt maybe a tad rusty, but I went out there and got my ground balls. That's part of my game and that's what I try to do." Kelly, a 24-year-old right-hander, was 5-7 with a 3.53 in 16 starts and eight relief appearances as a rookie last year. "Everyone, of course, wants to start in the big leagues," he said. "That's ultimately what my goal is to do, so I guess that's my preference. I'm happy I'm even given a chance to get that role." Adron Chambers, Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma had two hits and drove in two runs each for the Cardinals, who have won five straight. Chris Carter homered for the Astros, a fifth-inning drive off closer Jason Motte. Brandon Barnes and Brandon Lair also homered for Houston. "I'm excited to have this opportunity here, either to play first base or outfield or DH, whatever I can do to just play every day," said Carter, who hit 16 home runs in 67 games for Oakland last season. Carter is among at least eight Astros outfielders competing for starting spots. "That's why we're giving everybody an equal number of at-bats," manager Bo Porter said. "We want to give everybody an opportunity throughout the first three weeks." Houston starter Bud Norris struck out one and walked one in three innings, allowing Descalso's two-run single in the second. With Houston trailing by two runs in the ninth, Brandon Laird homered off Victor Marte leading off, his second home run in two days. Rene Garcia singled with one out and, after a throwing error by shortstop Ryan Jackson, pinch-runner Delino DeShields scored on Marte's wild pitch. NOTES: Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was not with the team because he has flulike symptoms. ... Jose Veras, Houston's likely closer, pitched a 1-2-3 fourth with a pair of called strikeouts in his final appearance before joining the Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Army football enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Report: Kobe viewed Dwight Howard's departure as 'positive'

Lions suspend CJ Mosley, send him home from London

Federal judge blocks New Jersey sports betting law

Report: Bucs sign Gerald McCoy to seven-year extension

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans about booing

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Shonn Greene arrested after parking in handicap spot

Report: Joe Maddon wants a very hefty salary

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

WATCH: Kentucky DB Blake McClain lays out Miss. St. WR

WATCH: Dwyane Wade videobombs himself

GRAPHIC: Cam Atkinson shows how close he was to losing eye

WATCH: 350-pound Arkansas lineman throws TD pass

Penn State fans blew air horns outside Ohio State's hotel?

WATCH: Oregon's Charles Nelson has impressive punt return TD

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

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!

Report: Army enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Penn State fans blew air horn at Ohio State players' hotel?

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

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.