The St. Louis Cardinals (57-49) defeated the Milwaukee Brewers (48-57) on Friday night by a final score of 8-3. Cards’ starter Joe Kelly (2-4) went 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs and ten hits while striking out two and walking one.

The Cards fell behind early when Joe Kelly let up three earned runs in the second inning, including a two-RBI single from opposing pitcher Randy Wolf, forcing the Cards to attempt to overcome a three-run deficit.

In the fourth, Allen Craig led off with a single, proceded by a fly out by Matt Holliday and a double by Carlos Beltran, leaving runners at second and third with one out. David Freese then stepped up to the plate and ripped a ball to center field scoring both runners and cutting the lead to one run. After Daniel Descalso (who, by the way, continues to play superb defense, tonight robbing a hit from Nyjer Morgan) drove in the tying run with his RBI double, Joe Kelly, wanting to help his cause, also came through with an RBI single to left field, giving the Cards a 4-3 lead.

The Cardinals extended their lead in the sixth inning thanks to two Milwaukee Brewer errors and smart base running for the Redbirds. Yaider Molina, who went 2-for-3 with two singles and a run scored, singled to right field, advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt, stole third base, and came home on catcher Martin Maldonado‘s throwing error. In the eighth, the Cards put another three runs on the scoreboard, making it easy for Marc Rzepczynski to close it out in the ninth.

Tonight was certainly a fun one. Putting aside the game for a moment, listening to Bruce Sutter during the broadcast was absolutely fascinating, as the Cardinals celebrate their 30th anniversary this weekend of their 1982 World Series championship. It’s amazing how these guys remember so many details of events that happened, at least in my mind, so long ago.

Joe Kelly was not his best tonight, giving up ten hits, but he did all we can ask of him, which is to keep the Cards in the game. The fact that Kelly gave up three earned runs early on and then was able to regain his composure shows a lot of maturity in a young pitcher. He did not get rattled, got back on the mound, and just minimized the damage as much as he could. On the other hand, Randy Wolf was clearly very uncomfortable out there. I think the heat really got to him, as it does for many visiting players, without a doubt giving the Cards at least a small advantage.

What’s Next: Adam Wainwright (8-10, 4.24) and the Cardinals will take on Mark Rogers (0-0, 3.18) and Milwaukee Brewers for the second game of this weekend series. Game time is at 6:15 CST and can be seen on Fox Sports Midwest.