The St. Louis Cardinals jumped on Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett for seven runs in the third inning at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Thursday, and coasted on toward a 9-1 win over the Pirates in the opener of a best-of-five National League Division Series.
Pedro Alvarez homered in the fifth inning for the only Pittsburgh run. The Pirates managed just four hits, and committed three errors. Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4.
Carlos Beltran slammed a three-run home run for the Cardinals, and David Freese tallied two hits and two RBI’s. Cards starter Adam Wainwright, a 19-game winner in the regular season, worked seven innings for the win. Wainwright allowed only one run and three hits, struck out nine batters and walked no one.
Burnett lasted just “two-plus” innings, and was tagged with seven runs. Burnett allowed six hits, did not strike out a hitter, walked four and hit a batter.
Jeanmar Gomez allowed two unearned runs over four innings of long relief work, and Vin Mazzaro and Bryan Morris both threw one scoreless inning.
Game two will be played in St. Louis at 1:07 PM (EDT). The Pirates will send rookie Gerrit Cole (10-7) against the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn (15-10). Baseball officials are now saying that game three, which will be played Sunday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, will begin at 4:37 PM (EDT).
In Thursday’s other NLDS opener, the Los Angeles Dodgers bested the Braves 6-1 in Atlanta.