PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — A.J. Burnett’s third outing of the season wasn’t quite as good as the first two.

In fact, it’s not even close.

Entering Wednesday night’s game at St. Louis with a 1.38 ERA, Burnett allowed 12 runs in 2 2/3 innings. The Pirates lost, 12-3.

By game’s end, Burnett’s ERA rose to 8.04.

Matt Holliday hit an RBI single in the first inning and Carlos Beltran followed with a three-run homer for a 4-0 Cardinals lead before the Pirates had recorded a single out.

Burnett struggled to record the first out of the second inning as well, as Holliday and Beltran each singled in runs again for a 6-1 lead. Shortly thereafter, Pirates catcher Rod Barajas and manager Clint Hurdle were ejected.

David Freese grounded into a double play that scored another run and St. Louis led 7-1 after just two innings.

Burnett got off to a rough start in the third before being pulled, allowing an RBI triple to Daniel Descalso. After a sacrifice fly by Rafael Furcal pushed the lead to 9-1, Beltran belted his second homer of the night — another three-run shot — for a 12-1 lead and the end to Burnett’s night.

Pirates relievers Brad Lincoln, Chris Resop, Juan Cruz and Jason Grilli combined to shut out the Cardinals the rest of the way, but the damage was far too much for Pittsburgh to overcome.

Shortstop Clint Barmes hit an RBI double in the top of the second, driving home Pedro Alvarez. Second baseman Josh Harrison added a second run with an RBI single in the seventh and another in the ninth for a 12-3 final.

St. Louis starting pitcher Lance Lynn was stellar once again, allowing just two runs on three hits in 6 2/3 innings. He’s now 5-0 on the year with a 1.60 ERA.

Beltran finished the game 4 for 5 from the plate with two homers and seven RBIs.

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