Yankees ace Tanaka makes 1st spring start Thursday

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will make his first exhibition start Thursday night against Atlanta.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi made the announcement after Sunday's 3-2 win over Washington.

''It's good to see'' Girardi said.

Tanaka missed 2 1/2 months last season while rehabilitating a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He returned for two late September starts, and Boston chased him with an eight-run second inning in his finale on Sept. 27.

The right-hander threw 23 of 29 pitches for strikes Saturday in a simulated game divided into two innings. The Japanese ace faced nine batters, giving up one single and striking out one.

Signed to a $155 million, seven-year contract in January 2014, Tanaka went 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA over 20 starts.

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