Yankees' Tanaka throws in bullpen for 3rd time

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) New York Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka threw 40 pitches in his third bullpen session and could be ready to pitch batting practice for the first time early next week.

Tanaka missed 2 1/2 months last season with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He returned for two starts in late September, and Boston chased him with an eight-run second inning in his final outing.

''I was throwing with more force than the last bullpen,'' Tanaka said Thursday through an interpreter. ''As far as hitting the spots as location goes, I think it was better than the last bullpen as well. I feel that I'm on track. It gives me confidence that I'm moving in the right direction.''

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