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Joe Kelly out-duels Clayton Kershaw to beat Dodgers

Cardinals starting pitcher Joe Kelly, once the eighth-most desirable option of St. Louis skipper Mike Matheny to toe the rubber in the first inning of games, did nothing less Tuesday than out-duel Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw.

Kelly evened his record at 3-3 with a victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium. He allowed one run to the high-powered Dodgers offense to lower his season ERA to 2.98. Kershaw allowed two runs to fall to 10-7 despite an ERA below two runs a game. It rose from 1.87 to 1.91.

The game was close until the end when Cardinals sluggers Carlos Beltran and Matt Adams homered to propel a three-run rally that broke things open.

The key play of the game came when Seth Maness was called in to relieve Randy Choate with the bases loaded and one out while the Redbirds clung to a 2-1 lead. Maness notched another of his trademark double play balls to end the threat.

The St. Louis victory marked the first time in 16 road games that the Dodgers were defeated.

When Kelly made his first start June 5, his ERA stood at 6.75 and he was suffering through inconsistency because of a lack of use. Since then he's won three straight games, his ERA has been 1.49 and opponents are hitting .206 against him.