(BaseballStL) -- After his last start, Mike Matheny hoped Joe Kelly saw the benefits of the ground ball in a 6-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.
It’s safe to assume Kelly took notice after matching his season high of 10 ground-ball outs in a 6-1 win against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. It was a mark previously set in his last start.
“He had good life again. He just keeps making good starts for us,” Matheny said.
Kelly danced around danger for the first five of six innings pitched while scattering eight hits and three walks. The only damage inflicted on Kelly came on a 416-foot home run by Shin-Soo-Choo to lead off the fifth inning.
With runners reaching base in every inning but his last, Kelly escaped with his career-high sixth victory of the season and fifth this month.
“He seemed to have everything under control for the most part,” Matheny said. “He did a nice job once he did get guys on base. It’s just hard to complain with what he did today.”
Despite allowing more hits and walks than in his previous start, Kelly said he thought he was better in Tuesday’s win compared to last week’s victory.
“A little bit better, but it’s not where I’d like it to be,” Kelly said. “It’s getting there. I’m working on some stuff so everything feels better. My change-up felt a lot better. My break on my pitches felt a lot better.”
Kelly hasn't pitched more than 6.1 innings in any of his 10 starts this season. He is now 6-1 with a 2.17 ERA as a starter.