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Yankees’ Tanaka throws in simulated game

March 11, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka has made his third start for the New York Yankees in a simulated game.

Tanaka, who signed a $155 million, seven-year contract in January, struck out nine of 18 batters he faced in four innings Tuesday. He gave up three hits, including a solo homer, to a pair of minor leaguers.

Tanaka said through an interpreter that he worked on his split-finger pitch during the outing.

This is the first time that Tanaka has pitched in the Yankees’ simulated game format, which uses only a pitcher, catcher and hitter.

In two spring training games, Tanaka has allowed one run, four hits and struck out four over five innings.

He is expected to start the Yankees third or fourth regular-season game.

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