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St. Louis Cardinals resume first-place tie as Joe Kelly stops the Pirates

Joe Kelly can't lose, for some reason.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

At least this time his peripherals were pretty good, too. Joe Kelly—whose 2013 was, until mid-summer, most notable for how rarely he pitched—improved to 7-0 since joining the rotation on Sunday as the Cardinals beat the Pirates by a score of 7-2. Kelly, who allowed one run over six innings on five strikeouts and two walks, benefited from three first-inning runs and didn't need anything more, holding the Pirates scoreless until new arrival Marlon Byrd hit a ground ball single to score Andrew McCutchen in the sixth.

Matt Carpenter and David Freese doubled and Shane Robinson reached base four times in the win.

Also of note:

Seth Maness struck out two batters in one inning of work. Somehow this is already the fourth time he's done that.

David Freese is now hitting .214 and slugging .262 in 10 starts since Kolten Wong's call-up, but I guess it's probably helped that Kolten Wong is hitting .182 and slugging .212 since Kolten Wong's call-up. The seven RBI in his 10 starts might also have something to do with it.

Essay Question: Will the Cardinals call Ryan Jackson up after Memphis's season ends later this month, or are they determined to turn him into a cult hero among people who haven't looked at his minor league numbers since June?