Neal Cotts (4-1) earned the win in relief, Trevor Rosenthal (1-1) suffered his first loss and Joe Nathan tallied his 23rd save of the season.
Nelson Cruz led the way with three RBI and Derek Holland recovered from a rough start to throw seven innings and receive a no-decision.
Holland gave up four runs on four hits in the first two innings, but would settle down and retire the final 12 hitters he faced. He walked three and struck out four in a strong finish. He also went 0-for-2 at the plate with a walk and a run scored.
Tyler Lyons started for the Cardinals but only lasted 1.2 innings giving up four runs on three hits with three walks. Lyons is now winless in his last four starts. The Cardinals have the best record in baseball, but are just 5-5 in their last 10.
Allen Craig added a two-run double to increase his season total to 57 RBI. Carlos Beltran earned his 46th RBI in the first inning, but flew out to the wall in left-center field to end the game.
This was the Rangers’ first regular season trip to Busch Stadium and the first since Game 7 of the 2011 World Series.
The Rangers lost games six and seven in Busch Stadium en route to their second consecutive World Series loss. It was the Cardinals’ 11th World Series title.
Saturday’s Game 2 is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. and features Martin Perez (0-1) against Shelby Miller (8-4).