The Pittsburgh Pirates the last National League team to qualify for a division series since that format was instituted in 1995 got off very much on the wrong foot today against the kings of divisional play.

The Cardinals who have won eight of the previous 10 division series in which they have participated jumped Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett for seven runs in the third inning fueled by a mammoth three-run homer by Carlos Beltran the king of postseason home-run hitting. A resultant 9-1 victory at Busch Stadium behind Adam Wainwright who struck out nine in seven innings gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five NL division series.

Game 2 will be played just after noon Friday with Lance Lynn to start for the Cardinals against impressive Pirates rookie Gerrit Cole.

Burnett who has had three consecutive awful games at Busch Stadium including today’s aborted outing threw 37 pitches in the third inning without retiring anyone. Besides Beltran’s home run David Freese singled in two turns Burnett walked three in the inning including Wainwright and hit one and there was a Pirates error thrown in. That was one of three miscues for the Pirates who are appearing in their first postseason since 1992.

Wainwright winning a divisional playoff start for the first time out of four (he had three no-decisions) held the Pirates to three hits one of them Pedro Alvarez’s long solo homer in the fifth inning.

Carlos Martinez worked a perfect eighth making a sterling defensive play in the process and fellow rookie Trevor Rosenthal who saw some playoff time last year finished up

The victory was the Cardinals’ seventh in succession counting the end of the regular season.

Beltran's home run was his 15th in postseason play. He is tied with Babe Ruth for the best home-run proficiency in postseason play of anybody with at least 80 at-bats at one homer every 8.6 at-bats.