MIAMI (AP) — Joe Kelly didn’t expect to figure into Monday night’s game when he came to the ballpark.
The 24-year old rookie pitcher, who is scheduled to start Wednesday for the St. Louis Cardinals, came up with an RBI as a pinch-hitter in the 10th inning of the Cardinals’ 8-7 victory over the Miami Marlins.
“I was the most nervous I could be and I was like, `Man I might come up in a situation where I’ll actually have to hit,'” Kelly said.
After Rafael Furcal’s RBI double put the Cardinals up 7-6 in the top of the 10th, Kelly was called to hit for reliever Victor Marte with two outs and the bases loaded against Chad Gaudin (1-1).
“We’ve been told when he came up that he was probably going to be one of our hitters on the pitching staff,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Kelly hit a soft grounder to shortstop Jose Reyes, whose throw to first was not in time to get Kelly, allowing Furcal to score an insurance run.
“I know I’m pretty fast (and I thought) I can beat this ball so I just started sprinting as fast as I could,” Kelly said.
With the Cardinals up 8-6, closer Jason Motte allowed an RBI single by John Buck with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, but Reyes lined out to center with two runners on to end the game.
“Unbelievable,” Matheny said. “Through some crazy stuff, guys getting out of jams, it was a great effort.”
Yadier Molina hit a two-run homer off Heath Bell in the ninth to cap St. Louis’ four-run inning and tie the game at 6.
“Plain and simple this loss is on me,” Bell said.
The bottom of the ninth was highlighted with lineup controversy.
After Henley Ramirez singled with one out, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen came out of the dugout to dispute the Cardinals’ lineup with home plate umpire Bob Davidson. Following a 10-minute discussion among the umpires, they ruled in Guillen’s favor leaving Matheny in disagreement and prompting Tony Cruz to come off the bench to replace Allen Craig at first base.
Matheny thought the pitcher’s place in the order was the seventh spot whereas Guillen believed it was the fifth, which ended up being where Kelly delivered his pinch hit.
“Go figure that was the game-winner,” Matheny said. “It was a shame that has to be any part of the conversation about a win like that, but understandable.”
Marte (2-1) pitched 2-3 innings for the win.
After halting a six-game losing streak with a win on Sunday, the Marlins have lost 16 of 19.
“Very disappointed,” Guillen said. “You’re pitching well and all of a sudden they score seven or eight runs. This is something you have to sleep on and come back tomorrow. It’s going to stick in your head for a little while. It’s a hard one.”
The Marlins led 6-1 in the eighth before third baseman Ramirez’s two errors on a ground ball by David Freese allowed the Cardinals to cut the deficit to 6-2.
Reyes drove in runs with a double in the third and a single in the fifth.
The Cardinals pulled within 2-1 as Freese scored on a passed ball.
Miami starter Ricky Nolasco went 6 2-3 innings allowing one unearned run and striking out four.
Miami added to their lead in the seventh on consecutive bases-loaded walks issued by Eduardo Sanchez. Logan Morrison’s groundout and Greg Dobbs’ RBI single pushed the lead to 6-1 as the Marlins batted around scoring four runs on two hits and four walks.
Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook allowed two runs in six innings.
NOTES: Buck went 2 for 3 and scored three runs as he registered his second multihit game of the season and first since April 12 at Philadelphia. … Freese is 10 for 24 (.417) in his last six games. … New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham was in attendance. … St. Louis will send RHP Kyle Lohse (6-2, 2.85 ERA) to the mound Tuesday to face RHP Carlos Zambrano (4-5, 4.01 ERA), who is 12-6 in 31 appearances against the Cardinals.