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Masahiro Tanaka loses, return to Japan off to rough start

Masahiro Tanaka loses, return to Japan off to rough start

Masahiro Tanaka allowed Sho Nakata’s two-run homer in the first inning of the pitcher’s return to Japanese baseball, a 4-1 loss for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters at the Tokyo Dome on Saturday.

The 32-year-old right-hander signed with the Pacific League club in January after completing a $155 million, seven-year contract with the New York Yankees.

Tanaka (0-1) allowed three runs and four hits in five innings with five strikeouts and a walk. He also gave up Kazunari Ishii’s home run in the second.

The defeat ended Tanaka’s 28-game regular-season winning streak in Japan.

Tanaka was 78-46 with a 3.74 ERA for the Yankees and was 99-35 with a 2.30 ERA in seven seasons with the Golden Eagles.

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Christine Watkins

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