- Associated Press - Saturday, May 24, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - The New York Yankees‘ rotation swings back to Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday, and the Japanese right-hander is really looking forward to his start against the Chicago White Sox.

It will be Tanaka’s first game since he picked up his first major league loss.

“I try to go out there to do my best every time out,” Tanaka said Saturday through a translator. “But given the outing last time, yes, I really want to go out there and perform better.”

Tanaka had his unbeaten streak stopped at 42 regular-season starts when he lost to the lowly Cubs on Tuesday. He had been 34-0 in Japan and North America the last two seasons, though he did drop Game 6 of the Japan Series last year before earning the save in Game 7.

Tanaka allowed eight hits, matching a career high, and three earned runs in six innings Tuesday. He also threw 88 pitches at Wrigley Field, a career low.

“I feel no problem as far as stamina goes. I think I could be better as far as the actual pitching goes,” said Tanaka, who dropped to 6-1 with a 2.39 ERA in nine starts.

It was Tanaka’s second start of the season against the Cubs. He pitched eight innings of two-hit ball in a 3-0 victory over Chicago on April 16.

The 25-year-old Tanaka agreed to a $155 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees in January, and manager Joe Girardi is looking forward to seeing how he responds to the loss.

“I mean, see how he handles it, but I’m sure he’ll handle it well, just like he has everything else,” Girardi said.


Jay Cohen can be reached at https://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

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