Spring training | Prized prospects Cole, Taillon, Marte shine in Black and Gold Game

Budding aces, Marte shine in Black and Gold deadlock

jlembo@bradenton.comFebruary 23, 2013 

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.

On 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 5½ 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 Pittsburgh.

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 hits.

"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," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "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 a Tampa Bay Rays split squad. Pittsburgh's home opener is 1 p.m. Sunday against the Atlanta Braves.

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