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Kelly takes on relief duty after Braves’ Snitker uses up pen

Braves right-hander Casey Kelly was in line to make his second start of the season this weekend. He essentially ended up doing starter’s work on Wednesday when Braves interim manager Brian Snitker called on him as an emergency reliever against the Brewers.

Kelly came in to pitch for the 10th inning after Snitker had used all seven of his relief pitchers. Kelly pitched four innings and gave up an RBI single to Jonathan Villar in the 13th inning of the 3-2 loss.

“Anytime you get the call you’ve got to be ready,” Kelly said. “It’s the big leagues. You’ve got to go out there and do it. Tonight we just came up short at the end. “

Kelly made his first Braves start on Sunday in Philadelphia and was to make another start on Saturday against the Marlins. Snitker said the Braves hadn’t decided who would start instead on Saturday. The Braves could recall rookie Aaron Blair from Triple-A Gwinnett after they sent him down last week.

Kelly threw 85 pitches against the Phillies on Sunday, had his regular bullpen session on Wednesday and then threw 77 pitches over four innings against the Brewers.

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“We probably took Casey an inning longer than we originally wanted,” Snitker said. “He was in a good rhythm. He wasn’t laboring. He was free and easy.”

Kelly retired the Brewers in order in the 10th inning and stranded one runner in the 11th. He struck out slugger Chris Carter with two runners on base in the 12th.

The Brewers loaded the bases in the 13th when Keon Braxton’s sacrifice attempt turned into a bunt single. Villar hit the go-ahead single after Martin Maldonando hit into a fielder’s choice with Kirk Nieuwenhuis out at the plate.

Four of the seven relief pitchers Snitker used before Kelly faced just one batter and only Arodys Vizcaino pitched a full inning. Six of those pitchers appeared after Gordon Beckham’s pinch-hit, two-run homer put the Braves ahead 2-1 in the sixth inning.

Snitker pinch hit Tyler Flowers for Kelly in the 13th inning and said infielder Chase d’Arnaud would have pitched the 14th if necessary. D’Arnaud pitched a scoreless inning for Triple-A Indianapolis in 2014.

“You would rather not (use so many pitchers) but it was like, you know what, we are going to try to win this thing in nine, especially when Gordon hit the homer,” Snitker said.

Snitker said all of the relief pitchers should be available to pitch in Thursday’s series finale.

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