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Tanaka labors through two innings

Kyodo

Masahiro Tanaka had to stretch to find positives on Thursday from his third preseason start, when he allowed two runs in two innings.

The New York Yankees right-hander allowed four hits and struck out one and hit a batter. Tanaka had been slated to go four innings, but struggled with the command of his fastball and left after throwing 50 pitches in the Yankees’ 7-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“I don’t think I’ve needed 50 pitches over two innings very often,” Tanaka said. “If I had to find a positive, I guess it would be that I hung in there, and if this had been the regular season, I could have battled to go five innings and be around 100 pitches.

“Overall, it was just a lot of frustration and it’s a good thing it happened at this tune-up stage. During the season, of course, this is impermissible. I made some adjustments from last time, and I didn’t make the same mistakes — but they didn’t contribute to a win.”

Tanaka got a rude welcome in the second, when 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen took him deep for a solo homer. The right-hander gave up a run on three singles in the second before making his exit.