Joe Kelly Takes No-Hitter into the Eighth in Second Straight StartMay 31, 2011 - Florida State League (FSL) Palm Beach Cardinals
Kelly (3-2, 2.67 ERA) lasted a career-high 7.2 innings before Jays' third baseman Kevin Ahrens broke up the no-no with a single, finishing the right-hander's night with a line of one earned run, a hit, five walks, nine strikeouts and one hit batter. He also forced nine groundouts to just one flyout for his second straight win on the year.
The 22-year-old Anaheim, Calif. native managed to amazingly out-do his previous start a week ago at Brevard County, in which he took a no-hitter into the eighth as well and finished with a then career-high 7.1 one-hit innings. He also allowed a run without a hit in his last outing and has now given up just six hits and three earned runs in his last three starts (22.0 IP). Kelly was drafted by the Cardinals in the 3rd round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of California at Riverside
Neither team could manage a hit until the third inning, when D'Marcus Ingram and Domnit Bolivar connected on back-to-back two-out hits but were stranded on base. Palm Beach got on the board a few innings later when third baseman Niko Vasquez hit a leadoff home run to right-center field, his first since joining the Cardinals May 24 from Class-AA Springfield. Vasquez hit .262 with 28 RBI in 59 games for Palm Beach last season.
The Cards rallied to score the eventual game-winner an inning later, starting with consecutive singles from Kyle Conley and Edgar Lara. A Rainel Rosario-groundout advanced the runners to second and third for Xavier Scruggs, who delivered a RBI-infield single that put the Cardinals on top 2-0.
The Blue Jays got on the board off Kelly without the benefit of a hit in the sixth thanks to a bases-loaded walk to Jon Talley, bringing the score to 2-1. Kelly had issued two walks and hit a batter to load the bases.
The Cardinals' starter forced two quick groundouts to begin the eighth inning before Ahrens broke up the non-no, knocking him from the game in the process. Right-hander Keith Butler came on and allowed another single before escaping the inning and sending it into the ninth with the Cardinals on top.
Ingram hit his ninth career home run, the first since Aug. 9 of last season, in the top of the ninth to give Palm Beach an insurance run up 3-1. Jorge Rondon walked two but closed it out to earn his second consecutive save, his fifth of the season.
Conley had three hits, including a double, to highlight the offense apart from the two solo homers. Jays' right-hander Nestor Molina (5-3, 2.75 ERA) suffered the loss.
Game two of the four-game series will begin tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. as right-hander Eric Fornataro (3-4, 4.15 ERA) faces off against righty Ryan Tepera (3-1, 4.87 ERA) and the Jays from Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin.
For more information on the Palm Beach Cardinals, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, please call (561) 775-1818 or visit www.palmbeachcardinals.com. For tickets and more information regarding Roger Dean Stadium, please visit www.rogerdeanstadium.com.
Florida State League Stories from May 31, 2011
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