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Tanaka set for first Yankees start

Kyodo

Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka will get his first action as a starter for his next assignment when he pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday in Clearwater, Florida, manager Joe Girardi announced Sunday.

Tanaka, who allowed two singles in two scoreless innings against the Phillies pitching in relief on Saturday, held a light practice at the club’s spring training facility in Tampa, Florida. “I plan to go out and pitch as I usually do,” said the 25-year-old Tanaka.

In his preseason debut at George Steinbrenner Field, Tanaka, who has signed a seven-year, $155 million deal with the Yankees, struck out three and walked none.

“I think he handled it really well,” Girardi said. “I know he’s pitched out of the bullpen, but the way he did it yesterday, he’s not used to doing (that) all the time.”

“But I think he handled the situation really well, because I think there’s been a lot of anticipation for that, and I think there will be a lot of anticipation for his first real start,” he said.