ST. LOUIS -- ST. LOUIS (AP) — Carlos Beltran's three-run homer sparked a seven-run third inning and the St. Louis Cardinals got seven stingy innings from Adam Wainwright, delivering a reality jolt to the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 9-1 rout Thursday in their NL division series opener.

The first eight Cardinals reached safely in the third to chase A.J. Burnett, saddling the right-hander with the second-shortest outing of his career and putting Game 1 out of reach early. A sellout crowd roared early and then settled in for an easy victory.

Lance Lynn (15-10) faces Pirates rookie Gerrit Cole (10-7) in Game 2 Friday.

The Pirates ended a 21-year postseason drought and entered their first best-of-five division series with apparent momentum after beating Cincinnati in the wild-card game Tuesday. They never threatened to rally against the Cardinals' ace and finished with only four hits.

Pittsburgh also was sloppy in the field, committing three errors. St. Louis was sharp on defense, with reliever Carlos Martinez turning in the top play by slinging an off-balance throw to first to nip Russell Martin.

"What a play!" Cardinals manager Mike Matheny mouthed in the dugout.

Wainwright remained unbeaten in the postseason, going to 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA in 14 games, five of them starts.

Wainwright allowed a run on three hits in seven innings, striking out nine without a walk. The only damage coming on a homer by Pedro Alvarez to start the fifth.

The right-hander tied for the NL lead with 19 wins this year and was 4-0 in his last five starts.

Wainwright also started the Cardinals' big burst with a leadoff, full-count walk.

Beltran, who has never reached the World Series, reprised his role as one of the game's greatest playoff sluggers. His 443-foot drive put St. Louis ahead and was the second-longest shot by a left-handed batter at 8-year-old Busch Stadium.

Beltran has 15 home runs, 10 doubles and 28 RBIs in 35 postseason games. He also has scored 40 runs and stolen 11 bases.

His 13 career RBIs against Burnett are the most of any player.

Beltran's homer got the Cardinals going, and Jon Jay later walked with the bases loaded. David Freese added a two-run single that cleared the bases when right fielder Marlon Byrd's throw to the plate deflected away.

While the Pirates may have had trouble at the plate and in the field with the shadows, the late-afternoon start didn't seem to bother the Cardinals.

NOTES: Cardinals broadcaster Mike Shannon threw the first pitch in the dirt, with reserve Shane Robinson making a nice scoop. ... St. Louis OF Matt Holliday walked and doubled his first two trips and had reached base safely in nine straight plate appearances before grounding out to start the fourth. ... The Cardinals claimed OF Joey Butler on waivers, three days after he was designated for assignment by the Rangers. Butler spent most of the year at Triple-A Round Rock, batting .291 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs.

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  • Carlos Beltran, A.J. Burnett

    St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran (3) watches his three-run home run off of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Sarah Conard)

  • A.J. Burnett, Russell Martin

    Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett (34) holds on to catcher Russell Martin as Burnett adjusts his pants in the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Adam Wainwright

    St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Clint Barmes, Jon Jay

    St. Louis Cardinals' Jon Jay, bottom, is forced out at second base as Pittsburgh Pirates' Clint Barmes, top, leaps to avoid the slide in the second inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Yadier Molina

    St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina hits a single against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • A.J. Burnett

    Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett throws against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • A.J. Burnett

    Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett throws against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Matt Adams, Andrew McCutchen

    St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams (53) fields a low throw as Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen (22) grounds out in the first inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals - Game One

    ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 03: Starting pitcher A.J. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game One of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 3, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals - Game One

    ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 03: Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches to Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning during Game One of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 3, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals - Game One

    ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 03: Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches to Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning during Game One of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 3, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals - Game One

    ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 03: Starting pitcher A.J. Burnett #34 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game One of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 3, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals - Game One

    ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 03: Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during Game One of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 3, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals - Game One

    ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 03: Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches to Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning during Game One of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 3, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

  • Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals - Game One

    ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 03: Pete Kozma #38 of the St. Louis Cardinals runs out to the first base line before taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates during Game One of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 3, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

  • Carlos Beltran

    St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran follows through on a three-run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Carlos Beltran

    St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Sarah Conard)

  • Carlos Beltran

    St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran watches his three-run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Carlos Beltran, Adam Wainwright

    St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran (3) is congratulated by Adam Wainwright (50) as he crosses home plate after hitting a three-run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. Wainwright scored on the hit. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Carlos Beltran, Jon Jay

    St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran (3) celebrates in the dugout with Jon Jay (19) after Beltran hit a three-run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Carlos Beltran

    St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran, right, is congratulated in the dugout by teammates after hitting a three-run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • A.J. Burnett

    Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett walks off the mound after giving up a three-run home run to St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Carlos Beltran

    St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Jimmy Cich

    Pittsburgh Pirates fan Jimmy Cich of Toronto, Ohio, bites on a Pirates rally towel as he sits with hundreds of others who gathered outside PNC Park in Pittsburgh to watch on a large television showing the broadcast of Game 1 of the National League division series in St. Louis between the Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

  • Carlos Beltran, Russell Martin

    St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran (3) hits a three-run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. Catching for the Pirates is Russell Martin. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Carlos Beltran, Matt Carpenter

    St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran (3) is congratulated by Matt Carpenter (13) after Beltran hit a three-run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • A.J. Burnett

    Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett pauses during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. The Pirates gave up seven runs in the inning. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • A.J. Burnett, Clint Hurdle

    Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett is taken out by manager Clint Hurdle, right, in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Russell Martin

    Pittsburgh Pirates' Russell Martin walks to the dugout after striking out against the St. Louis Cardinals in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Pedro Alvarez, Yadier Molina

    Pittsburgh Pirates' Pedro Alvarez (24) hits a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fifth inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. Catching for the Cardinals is Yadier Molina. (AP Photo/Sarah Conard)

  • A.J. Burnett

    Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett wipes his face during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. The Pirates gave up seven runs in the inning. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Neil Walker

    Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker dives for a single hit by St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Adams in the fourth inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Jeanmar Gomez

    Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jeanmar Gomez throws against the St. Louis Cardinals in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Neil Walker

    Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker dives for a single hit by St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Adams in the fourth inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • A.J. Burnett

    Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett walks off the mound after giving up a three-run home run to St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Carlos Beltran

    St. Louis Cardinals' Carlos Beltran, right, is congratulated in the dugout by teammates after hitting a three-run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Adam Wainwright

    St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright sits in dugout between innings during Game 1 of baseball's National League division series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Pedro Alvarez

    Pittsburgh Pirates' Pedro Alvarez runs the bases after hitting his solo home run in the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Pedro Alvarez, Nick Leyva

    Pittsburgh Pirates' Pedro Alvarez, right, is congratulated by third base coach Nick Leyva, left, after Alvarez hit a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fifth inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Matt Adams

    St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Adams heads for third base as he scores from first on a double by Yadier Molina in the sixth inning in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Matt Adams

    St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Adams (53) is congratulated at the dugout after he scored from first base on a double by Yadier Molina in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Adam Wainwright

    St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright celebrates after striking out Pittsburgh Pirates' Pedro Alvarez to end the top of the seventh inning in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Adam Wainwright

    St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright celebrates after striking out Pittsburgh Pirates' Pedro Alvarez to end the top of the seventh inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. The Cardinals won 9-1. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Adam Wainwright

    St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, left, is congratulated by teammates after he pitched seven innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. Wainwright got the win as the Cardinals won 9-1. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina

    St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, left, is congratulated by Yadier Molina (4) after Wainwright pitched seven innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. Wainwright got the win in the Cardinals' 9-1 victory. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Vin Mazzaro

    Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Vin Mazzaro throws to a St. Louis Cardinals batter in the seventh inning of Game 1 of baseball's National League division series, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. The Cardinals won 9-1. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay, Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma

    St. Louis Cardinals' Jon Jay (19) celebrates with Matt Carpenter (13), Daniel Descalso (33) and Pete Kozma (38) after the Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-1 in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Jon Jay, Carlos Beltran

    St. Louis Cardinals' Jon Jay, left, and Carlos Beltran celebrate after the Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-1 in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Carlos Martinez

    St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Carlos Martinez celebrates after striking out Pittsburgh Pirates' Jordy Mercer to end the top of the eighth inning in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. The Cardinals won 9-1. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Matt Holliday, Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso

    St. Louis Cardinals, including Matt Holliday (7), Matt Carpenter (13) and Daniel Descalso (33), celebrate after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-1 in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Matt Adams, Yadier Molina, Trevor Rosenthal

    St. Louis Cardinals, including Matt Adams (53), catcher Yadier Molina, second from right, and Trevor Rosenthal (26), celebrate after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-1 in Game 1 of baseball's National League division series, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)