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Pirates apologize to fans for long lines at gates

Pirates apologize to fans for long lines at gates

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Pirates apologize to fans for long lines at gates

PITTSBURGH -- Many Pirates fans hoping to see Gerrit Cole's first Major League pitch were still looking at PNC Park's outer walls when the club's top prospect took the mound Tuesday night.

Because of a new policy that requires each patron to be searched with a metal-detecting wand upon entrance, the lines were backed outside the stadium until the game had begun.

Pirates president Frank Coonelly issued a statement apologizing to fans, and said security stopped the wanding at the start of the game to clear the lines entering the stadium by the end of the first inning.

The team had this security measure planned for several weeks, beginning with Tuesday's game. Cole's debut and a lack of preparation and execution, as Coonelly put it, led to the long delays. The game drew a crowd of 30,614.

"The experience was simply unacceptable and we will ensure this does not happen again," Coonelly said. "We appreciate the support and patience of our fans."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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