Carlos Beltran finished 4-for-5 with a pair of three-run home runs and a career-high seven RBI as the St. Louis Cardinals rolled to a 12-3 thrashing of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle test of a three-game set at Busch Stadium.
Matt Holliday went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI and three runs scored, while Daniel Descalso added an RBI triple and Rafael Furcal had an RBI single among his two hits for the Cardinals, who have taken the first two games of this series.
"Days like this don't come everyday," Beltran said. "I'm just glad to be able to go out there and have a good day. I'm happy we were able to score some runs early and get the win."
Lance Lynn (5-0) tossed 6 2/3 strong innings, giving up two runs on three hits and one walk while fanning six. Marc Rzepczynski got the final out in the seventh and Kyle McClellan worked a scoreless eighth before Mitchell Boggs closed it out in the ninth.
Josh Harrison went 2-for-2 with two RBI, Clint Barmes added an RBI double and Pedro Alvarez chipped in with a pair of hits and scored all three runs for the Pirates, who have dropped three of their last four.
A.J. Burnett (1-2) was torched for all 12 runs on 12 hits and a walk while striking out two in 2 2/3 innings.
"I didn't make any adjustments and was up (in the zone) all game," Burnett said. "They made an adjustment early and good teams are going to do that. I was up all night and couldn't get anything down."
The Cards jumped on top with four runs in their first at-bat before Burnett recorded an out. Furcal began the rally with a single to right and Jon Jay followed with a single before Holliday drove home Furcal with a base hit to left for the first run of the inning. Beltran then waited on a changeup from Burnett and crushed it about four rows back into the right-field seats to make it 4-0.
Pittsburgh got a run back in the second on an RBI double by Barmes, but the Cardinals exploded for eight more runs over the next two innings to make it a 12-1 game.
Furcal again began the rally in the second inning with a single and stole second. Jay was then hit by a pitch and Holliday slapped a single to left to bring home Furcal for a 5-1 Cards lead. Beltran drove in Jay with a base hit to right before David Freese grounded into a double play to score Holliday to make it 7-1.
Matt Carpenter began the St. Louis third with a single and came around to score on a triple by Descalso. After Lynn grounded out, Descalco scored on a sacrifice fly by Furcal. Jay reached on an infield single and Holliday walked to load the bases before Beltran banged a hanging sinker into the center-field seats off Burnett for his second homer of the contest.
Harrison entered the game with runners on the corners in the seventh as a pinch-hitter and smacked an RBI single to bring home Alvarez to make it 12-2, and he singled home Alvarez again in the ninth to account for the final score.
Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata had his seven-game hitting streak snapped...Pittsburgh fell to 5-9 when allowing the first run of the game...Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and catcher Rod Barajas were ejected in the second inning...12 earned runs allowed was a career-high for Burnett...St. Louis finished 5-for-17 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine, while the Bucs were 2-for-9 with men in scoring position.