Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest
By ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  Last updated 9/1/13
A month ago, Joe Kelly helped the St. Louis Cardinals avoid being swept in a five-game series at Pittsburgh.Facing a more potent Pirates lineup with newly acquired slugger Justin Morneau on Sunday, Kelly looks to continue his recent success as a starter and again help the Cardinals avoid being swept in Pittsburgh for the first time in almost five years.Pittsburgh (79-56) outscored St. Louis 22-7 to win four straight before Kelly (6-3, 2.91 ERA) allowed three hits in six innings of the 13-0 victory Aug. 1 to help the visitors avoid the five-game sweep.The Pirates have outscored the Cardinals (78-57) 12-1 through two this weekend to move one game ahead in the NL Central race. A.J. Burnett threw seven strong innings and Neil Walker had three hits as Pittsburgh moved within three victories of its first winning season since 1992 with Saturday's 7-1 victory."It's a great feat," Burnett said. "It's been a long time, but our goals have been higher than that."Pittsburgh, however, must get by Kelly in order to sweep its first home series from the Cardinals since Sept. 12-14, 2008.Kelly is 6-0 with a 2.24 ERA in nine starts since joining the rotation July 6, and he's allowed three runs on two homers over 18 innings while winning three straight outings overall. The right-hander gave up a solo shot in the fifth inning and lasted one more frame during Tuesday's 6-1 victory over Cincinnati."He just keeps making good starts for us," manager Mike Matheny said.Kelly, though, faces a Pittsburgh lineup with newcomer Marlon Byrd and Morneau, who was acquired from Minnesota on Saturday in exchange for outfielder Alex Presley.Morneau, who played only for Minnesota since breaking in with the Twins in 2003, hit .259 with 17 homers and 74 RBIs in 127 games this season. He arrived at PNC Park in the middle of Saturday's game, but did not play."Everybody knows we got better with the addition of Justin," catcher Russell Martin said. "He's an ex-MVP. He knows what he's doing out there. He's going to give you a productive at-bat and he lengthens the middle of the order."Byrd, acquired along with John Buck from the New York Mets on Tuesday, is 5 for 16 with four RBIs for his new team.Allen Craig had two of the six hits Saturday for the Cardinals, who have totaled one run and 15 hits during a three-game slide that followed a stretch of nine wins in 11 contests."I like what our offense has done over the majority of the season," Matheny said. "You don't want to take a couple of games and start making conclusions. We're just going to keep going about it."Catcher Yadier Molina ranks among the major league leaders with .328 average, but is 2 for 15 in his last four games overall and 0 for 15 in his last five at Pittsburgh.Kris Johnson is slated to make his first career start for the Pirates in the finale. In his major league debut out of the bullpen, the left-hander allowed two runs and struck out five while pitching the 11th through the 16th innings of a 4-2 loss to Arizona on Aug. 18.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker