(TERRY RENNA ~ Associated Press)
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, which allowed 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 6-6.
"Plain and simple, this loss is on me," Bell said.
The bottom of the ninth was highlighted with lineup controversy.
After Hanley 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, which left Matheny in disagreement and prompted 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 two-thirds of an innings for the win.
"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."