• 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.

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