The St. Louis Cardinals were up and at it early this afternoon with a 3-run first inning before winning 7-2 over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Joe Kelly pitched 6 solid innings and moves to 7-3 this season. The California native allowed four hits one run walked two and struck out five batters. He left Pittsburgh with a 2.82 ERA on the season. The Cardinals have turned to him three times now to halt losing streaks during the second half of the season. Since the start of July Kelly has a 2.16 ERA in 10 starts nine of which were Cardinals wins.

Pitching in relief of Kelly were Seth Maness Trevor Rosenthal and Edward Mujica. Maness pitched the seventh inning and struck out two batters. Rosenthal struck out all three batters he faced in the eighth inning. Mujica didn’t have his best stuck when he entered to start the ninth inning in a non-save situation. The Cardinals closer allowed two hits and one run.

Matt Carpenter Shane Robinson Allen Craig and Yadier Molina all had 2-hit games for the Cardinals. Allen Craig now owns a .453 batting average with runners in scoring position. Matt Holliday and David Freese both knocked in two runs. Carpenter and Craig both scored twice.