Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest
By ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  Last updated 9/12/13
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 23 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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Mike Carey not heard from again after being wrong earlier

Von Miller forces Cam Newton fumble to secure Super Bowl win

With cryptic tweet, did Marshawn Lynch just hang up his cleats?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL shows off every Super Bowl MVP in history

Jordan Norwood breaks off longest punt return in Super Bowl history

Beer company trolls Seth Rogan after Super Bowl commercial

Levi's Stadium's field problems continue in Super Bowl

Kevin Durant credentialed photographer for Super Bowl

Brady would be 'very jealous' if Manning wins Super Bowl

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

WATCH: Panthers' Jonathan Stewart leaps over pile for TD

Aqib Talib commits three awful penatlies in first half of SB

WATCH: Broncos score TD after Von Millers sacks Cam Newton

WATCH: Luke Kuechly sacks Peyton Manning

WATCH: Lady Gaga goes over on National Anthem betting

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

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

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