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Kelly continuing to prove value as utility man

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HOUSTON -- Toward the end of Thursday's 14-inning game vs. the Astros, a good portion of the crowd remaining at Minute Maid Park were Tigers fans.

"We were well represented last night at the game," said Don Kelly, who hit a go-ahead RBI single in the 14th. "It was fun. There were a lot of Tigers fans here, and to pull out a win was big."

Kelly entered in the eighth inning as a pinch-runner and remained in the game as the designated hitter. He went 2-for-3 with a double.

In the top of the 14th, Astros reliever Dallas Keuchel intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to load the bases with one out. Kelly then singled through the hole at second base, scoring Austin Jackson, who had led off the inning with a ground-rule double to right field.

In his fourth year with Detroit, Kelly has played at every position for the Tigers except shortstop. On Friday, Kelly was the starting center fielder, batting sixth in the lineup.

"Any time you can get in there and get some at-bats is huge," said Kelly. "Whenever the team needs me. Whether it's pinch-running late, defense late, getting the occasional start. I'm just trying to help the team win."

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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