By JOHN LEMBO
BRADENTON – Shutout innings from Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon, and a long home run off the bat of Starling Marte.
The Pittsburgh Pirates hope such scenarios play out during future summers and falls at PNC Park.
Friday, they had to settle for watching three of their prized prospects perform well in the Black And Gold Game, an intrasquad affair that lasted 5 ½ innings in front of 2,131 fans at McKechnie Field.
In the first game at McKechnie since the ballpark underwent a $10 million overhaul, Team Gold and Team Black played to a 2-2 tie.
Marte, who homered on the first pitch he saw as a Pirate last year, swatted at another first pitch Friday and launched it over McKechnie’s new left-field bleachers to give Team Gold a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
He wound up hitting .257 with 17 RBIs and 12 steals in 47 games with Pittsburg.
A pair of former first-round draft picks, Cole and Taillon started and threw two shutout innings apiece.
Cole allowed a hit and struck out one for Team Black, while Taillon struck out three and surrendered two hit.
“It felt good,” Taillon said. “Nothing out of the ordinary…still some things I want to iron out, like timing. But overall, it felt real good.”
Neither pitcher issued a walk.
“I thought they were very, very good with their pace,” said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. “And obviously they both pitched very well (Friday).”
Lucas May and Alex Presley each drove in a run for Team Black.
The Pirates open Grapefruit League play Saturday when they head to Port Charlotte to face the Tampa Bay Rays, and play their home-opener 1 p.m. Sunday against the Atlanta Braves.