Updated: 03/23/2014 04:05 | By Agence France-Presse

Strong effort by Tanaka in Yankees' triumph

Masahiro Tanaka struck out six and walked only one batter over 5 2/3 innings for the New York Yankees in a Major League Baseball pre-season matchup Saturday against Minnesota.

Strong effort by Tanaka in Yankees' triumph

Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees during a spring training game at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, on March 16, 2014 - by Mike Carlson

The 25-year-old Japanese right-handed starting pitcher surrendered three runs on five hits, throwing 35 of his 40 pitches for strikes to help the Yankees edge the Twins 5-4.

Tanaka gave up a run in the first inning when Minnesota's Brian Dozier doubled and advanced home on back-to-back ground outs.

Tanaka was chased from the mound in the sixth inning after Kurt Suzuki singled and scored on a Jason Kubel double and Trevor Plouffe grounded out to bring in another Twins run.

The Yankees brought in another Japanese right-hander, 38-year-old reliever Yoshinori Tateyama, to pitch the ninth inning.

Tateyama allowed a home run to Eduardo Escobar but struck out three other Minnesota batters to secure the final outs.

Tanaka signed a seven-year deal worth $155 million (112m euros) with the Yankees in January. The Yankees paid another $20 million to Japan's Rakuten Eagles for taking Tanaka, who went 24-0 last year for the Japan Series champions.

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