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The Juice: Cards’ Joe Kelly beats Braves ‘without any good stuff’

Big League Stew

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Joe Kelly might not have written home about his performance Thursday night, but the the St. Louis Cardinals will take it. They improved to 7-1 in Kelly's eight starts since he rejoined the rotation July 6. He allowed two runs, seven hits and two walks over six innings in a 6-2 victory against the Atlanta Braves at Busch Stadium. He also struck out three. Meh. If his statistics sound mediocre, he probably would agree. Kelly did not see his outing through rose-colored goggles, saying "I didn't have any of my good stuff. From pitch one to the last pitch, nothing was easy.''

C'mon, Kelly — you're a tremendous slouch! Teammate Matt Carpenter put it another way:

''He's like having a Ferrari in your garage. He's settling in as a starter and he's running with it. I love it when he goes out there and competes. He's aggressive and he's pitching with confidence.''

That's right, Blue Steel. Sometimes, mediocre stuff is enough.

Beachy to visit Dr. Andrews: Uh oh. After suffering minor setbacks along the way and a disastrous-looking first start this season, Brandon Beachy has pitched well for the Braves. But his elbow didn't feel right on the final pitches of his most recent outing and, on Monday, he plans to see Dr. James Andrews, the surgeon who performed his Tommy John elbow ligament replacement. This might be worse for the Braves than the Jason Heyward broken jaw.

Heating Upton again: Braves slugger Justin Upton hit 11 home runs in the first 20 games of the season, prompting all sorts of fun reactions about him being traded from the D-backs. Then he cooled off — until about Aug. 1. Over the past 15 games, he has seven homers.

MORE SCORES

Phillies 5, Rockies 4: Ending with Domonic Brown's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies scored four times in the final two innings.

Pirates 10, Giants 4: A seven-run fifth inning turned this into a cruise around McCovey Cove. Garrett Jones hit the 28th splash homer for an opponent at AT&T Park. Matt Cain was OK, or at least X-rays were negative, after getting hit with a line drive on his right forearm.

Nationals 5, Cubs 4 (13 inn.): The Nats squandered a lead in the ninth with Stephen Strasburg on the mound, but Denard Span scored the go-ahead run in the 13th to help end a long day that started with a pregame rain delay.

Reds 2, Diamondbacks 1: This was the result, thanks in part to four wild pitches — including one in the eighth inning by Eury DeLaRosa that scored Shin-Soo and did all of Joey Votto's work.

Dodgers 6, Marlins 0: Not much going on against Clayton Kershaw and Brian Wilson's $1 million-beard.

White Sox 4, Royals 3 (12 inn.): Now the Royals can't even beat the White Sox.

Twins 7, Tigers 6: Paging Mr. Herrmann. Minnesota squandered a big lead but hung on to win anyway, taking two of three at Detroit.

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Not sure what A-Rod is doing here, but some of you won't like it. (AP)

Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3: The Yankees are 5-0 since Ryan Dempster (eventually) hit Alex Rodriguez, and have won 10 of 12 overall.

''It was long overdue, a very arduous process, but I'm glad I went through it so I could appreciate baseball even more. I felt comfortable. I felt like I hadn't skipped a beat.''

— Brian Wilson

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Jose Bautista and R.A. Dickey in the background show frustration in what's happening to the Toronto Blue Jays. …

• The Cardinals have begun a string of 17 straight games against opponents who have winning records.

• Donnie Murphy of the Cubs has eight home runs since Aug. 6 to lead the National League. All right! Way to go, Donnie!

• The Yankees are 12-1 against the Blue Jays this season.

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