BRADENTON, Fla. -- Backed by four early runs, Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole tossed two scoreless innings in his Grapefruit League debut and led the Bucs to a 5-2 win over the Orioles on Friday at LECOM Park.Cole, the Pirates' Opening Day starter, permitted two hits and a walk but prevented
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Backed by four early runs, Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole tossed two scoreless innings in his Grapefruit League debut and led the Bucs to a 5-2 win over the Orioles on Friday at LECOM Park.
Cole, the Pirates' Opening Day starter, permitted two hits and a walk but prevented further damage.
"The whole atmosphere was just exciting," Cole said. "First game's always kind of a trip. It's like, all right, we're back."
Top Pirates prospectTyler Glasnow, competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, allowed one run on three hits and two walks while striking out two in 1 2/3 innings. Glasnow was scheduled to work three innings but reached his pitch limit before completing his second frame. Right-hander Andrew Hutchison, Glasnow's chief competition in the rotation battle, struck out four while allowing a hit and a walk in three scoreless innings.
Pittsburgh jumped out to a quick lead against Baltimore starter Wade Miley, who left the game in the second inning after being hit in the left forearm by an Elias Diaz comebacker. The first four Pirates hitters reached safely, and David Freese started the scoring with a two-run tapper mishandled by Orioles catcher Welington Castillo. Shortstop prospect Kevin Newman plated another run with a single to left. Phil Gosselin's second-inning single to center off reliever David Hess drove in Max Moroff and gave the Bucs a 4-0 lead.
"A little pinball action," said Miley, who allowed four runs, of the comebacker that hit him. "Just kind of bounced around a little bit, upper arm, rib cage, but it's good. Just kind of burned a little bit. We're good. More precautionary to take me out. I could have stayed out there, but just to be safe."
First baseman Trey Mancini, the Orioles' fifth-ranked prospect, had two hits, raising his spring batting average to .353.
Orioles Up Next: Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez starts for the Orioles as they travel to Charlotte Sports Park to take on the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday at 1:05 p.m ET. Jimenez allowed a run on three hits to the Yankees in his first start of the spring on Monday. Listen to the game live on Gameday Audio.
Pirates Up Next: Right-hander Chad Kuhl will take the mound as the Pirates host the Red Sox at LECOM Park on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. Kuhl has the "inside track" toward one of the Bucs' two remaining rotation spots, and he's coming off a perfect two-inning spring debut on Monday. Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco are slated to start in the outfield with Josh Harrison, Francisco Cervelli, Freese and Jordy Mercer among the other regulars expected to start. Relievers Tony Watson, Daniel Hudson, Wade LeBlanc, Jared Hughes and Pat Light are also scheduled to pitch. Watch the game live on MLB.TV
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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.
Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com.