The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday to take the first two games of a three game series. Joe Kelly started for the Redbirds Saturday and earned his second win of the season while posting seven strong innings. The win pulled the Cardinals to a tie with the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central. Now with the Milwaukee Brewers loss to Washington in the afternoon, St. Louis has a chance to break the first place tie with a win Sunday night against the Dodgers. A win would mean a three game sweep following the All-Star break and huge momentum moving forward for a ball club that struggled through the first half of the season.
Joe Kelly was able to help the Cardinals pull even with the Brewers by allowing only one run through seven innings. Kelly provided the same thing he did last year for the Cardinals: stability in a shaky starting rotation. Kelly did not strikeout out double digit batters or anything spectacular as he only struck out four, but he did only surrender four hits to a potent Los Angeles lineup. Kelly doesn’t try to do any thing special except put up as many blanks on the scoreboard as he can. With Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia sidelined with injury and Shelby Miller being moved to the bullpen, the Cardinals will count on Joe Kelly down the stretch much like they did last season.
While Joe Kelly kept the Dodgers in tact from the mound, it was the pair of Matts who helped the Cardinals secure the victory. Matt Adams only had one hit in the game, but it was a two-run long ball in the first inning to put the Cardinals up early. The home run was his 12th of the season as the big first basemen continues to be a force in the middle of the lineup. Matt Holliday went one for two and drove in St. Louis’ other two runs in the ball game. Holliday is starting to heat up and has 52 runs scored and 50 RBIs on the season. Although his batting average and home run totals are low, Holliday sports a good .374 on-base percentage. The Cardinals will need these two bats to keep rolling if they want to make the postseason.
The Cardinals will send Carlos Martinez to the mound for his seventh start of the season to attempt to take first place from the Brewers. Martinez will try to make it past the fifth inning against the Dodgers this time as he was not able to in his other two meeting with the team. Martinez is 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA as a starter this season and could possibly propel the Cardinals to the playoffs like he did last season. A win Sunday night would be a big boost for the post All-Star break portion of the season for the St. Louis Cardinals.
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