Speaking before a game a few days earlier, manager Clint Hurdle rapped his knuckles on his desk before saying that the Pirates had not yet taken a hard beating this season.

Wednesday, whatever luck was gained by knocking on wood ran out.

The St. Louis Cardinals pounded line drive after line drive off A.J. Burnett and racked up 12 runs in the first three innings. Rafael Furcal started the show with a leadoff single, and the Cardinals never slowed.