ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Cardinals used a 7-run outburst in the third inning to power their way to a 9-1 win over the Pirates in Game 1 of this National League Division Series.
Pirates starter A.J. Burnett worked his way around allowing three base runners during the first two innings of Game 1 but ran into a load of trouble in the bottom of the third. Burnett’s problems started when he walked pitcher Adam Wainwright to begin the inning and continued with a single to right field by leadoff man Matt Carpenter.
With runners on first and second and nobody out, Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran drive a 2-1 pitcher 443 feet into the right field seats, giving the Cardinals an early 3-0 leading. Beltran’s home run was the 15th playoff home run of his career, tying him with Babe Ruth for eighth all-time.
The Cardinals continued to rally against Burnett after the Beltran home run with the next five batters reaching base consecutively. Matt Holliday followed Beltran’s home run with a double to right center, Matt Adams was hit by a pitch, Yadier Molina and Jon Jay drew walks and David Freese singled down the right field line in a flurry that left the Cardinals with a 7-0 lead before an out would be recorded in the bottom of the third inning.
Burnett was replaced by Jeanmar Gomez after the Freese single and the Pirates’ starter was charged with 7 earned runs on 6 hits and 4 walks in just 2 innings of work.
In the bottom of the 5th, with the Cardinals still leading 7-0, Pedro Alvarez hit the first playoff home run of his career to cut the Cardinals lead to 7-1.
The Cardinals tacked on a run each in the fifth and sixth innings to extend their lead to 9-1.
For seven inning the Pirates were handcuffed by Wainwright, a 19-game winner in the regular season. Wainwright wound up allowing 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 9 Pirates’ batters and walking none while picking up his third career playoff win without a loss.
Game 2 of the series is tomorrow with the first pitch set for 12:07 PM CT. Lance Lynn (15-10, 3.97 ERA) starts for the Cardinals while the visiting Pirates counter with rookie Gerrit Cole (10-7, 3.22 ERA).