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Preview: Cardinals (9-6) at Pirates (7-8)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 3
Venue: PNC Park
Date: September 01, 2013 1:35 PM EDT
  

A month ago, Joe Kelly helped the St. Louis Cardinals avoid being swept in a five-game series at Pittsburgh.

Facing a more potent Pirates lineup with newly acquired slugger Justin Morneau on Sunday, Kelly looks to continue his recent success as a starter and again help the Cardinals avoid being swept in Pittsburgh for the first time in almost five years.

Pittsburgh (79-56) outscored St. Louis 22-7 to win four straight before Kelly (6-3, 2.91 ERA) allowed three hits in six innings of the 13-0 victory Aug. 1 to help the visitors avoid the five-game sweep.

The Pirates have outscored the Cardinals (78-57) 12-1 through two this weekend to move one game ahead in the NL Central race. A.J. Burnett threw seven strong innings and Neil Walker had three hits as Pittsburgh moved within three victories of its first winning season since 1992 with Saturday's 7-1 victory.

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"It's a great feat,' Burnett said. "It's been a long time, but our goals have been higher than that.'

Pittsburgh, however, must get by Kelly in order to sweep its first home series from the Cardinals since Sept. 12-14, 2008.

Kelly is 6-0 with a 2.24 ERA in nine starts since joining the rotation July 6, and he's allowed three runs on two homers over 18 innings while winning three straight outings overall. The right-hander gave up a solo shot in the fifth inning and lasted one more frame during Tuesday's 6-1 victory over Cincinnati.

"He just keeps making good starts for us," manager Mike Matheny said.

Kelly, though, faces a Pittsburgh lineup with newcomer Marlon Byrd and Morneau, who was acquired from Minnesota on Saturday in exchange for outfielder Alex Presley.

Morneau, who played only for Minnesota since breaking in with the Twins in 2003, hit .259 with 17 homers and 74 RBIs in 127 games this season. He arrived at PNC Park in the middle of Saturday's game, but did not play.

"Everybody knows we got better with the addition of Justin,' catcher Russell Martin said. "He's an ex-MVP. He knows what he's doing out there. He's going to give you a productive at-bat and he lengthens the middle of the order.'

Byrd, acquired along with John Buck from the New York Mets on Tuesday, is 5 for 16 with four RBIs for his new team.

Allen Craig had two of the six hits Saturday for the Cardinals, who have totaled one run and 15 hits during a three-game slide that followed a stretch of nine wins in 11 contests.

"I like what our offense has done over the majority of the season," Matheny said. "You don't want to take a couple of games and start making conclusions. We're just going to keep going about it.'

Catcher Yadier Molina ranks among the major league leaders with .328 average, but is 2 for 15 in his last four games overall and 0 for 15 in his last five at Pittsburgh.

Kris Johnson is slated to make his first career start for the Pirates in the finale. In his major league debut out of the bullpen, the left-hander allowed two runs and struck out five while pitching the 11th through the 16th innings of a 4-2 loss to Arizona on Aug. 18.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Cardinals at Pirates
Fri, Aug 30 Final 0 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Cardinals at Pirates
Sat, Aug 31 Final 1 to 7
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Cardinals at Pirates
Sun, Sep 1 Final 7 to 2
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 STL  -112   +145   8 
 PIT  +102   -165   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 STL  -117   +140   8 
 PIT  +107   -160   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 STL  72%   80%   73% 
 PIT  28%   20%   27% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Aug 31, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 1 Over: 8 
 PIT 7 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 30, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 0 Under: 5 
 PIT 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 15, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 PIT 5 Over: 11 
 STL 6 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 14, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 PIT 5 Cover: +112 
 STL 1 Under: 6 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 13, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 PIT 3 Push: 7 
 STL 4 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 1, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 13 Cover: +100 
 PIT 0 Over: 13 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jul 31, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 4 Over: 9 
 PIT 5 Cover: +104 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jul 30, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 0 Under: 6 
 PIT 6 Cover: +105 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jul 30, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 1 Under: 3 
 PIT 2 Cover: +105 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jul 29, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 2 Over: 11 
 PIT 9 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Sunday, Sep 1
 
    Indians at Tigers
1:05 PM EDT
    Orioles at Yankees
1:05 PM EDT
    Royals at Blue Jays
1:05 PM EDT
    White Sox at Red Sox
1:35 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Pirates
1:35 PM EDT
    Angels at Brewers
2:10 PM EDT
    Mariners at Astros
2:10 PM EDT
    Phillies at Cubs
2:20 PM EDT
    Twins at Rangers
3:05 PM EDT
    Rays at Athletics
4:05 PM EDT
    Reds at Rockies
4:10 PM EDT
    Padres at Dodgers
4:10 PM EDT
    Giants at Diamondbacks
4:10 PM EDT
    Marlins at Braves
5:00 PM EDT
    Mets at Nationals
8:05 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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