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Masahiro Tanaka sharp in final exhibition tuneup

Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka throws a bullpen session

Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka throws a bullpen session during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 17, 2018. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

TAMPA, Fla. — After not performing particularly well during most of spring training, Masahiro Tanaka looked terrific in his final tuneup before the games start for real.

Tanaka, who toted a 11.25 ERA into Friday’s game against the Red Sox, allowed one run, five hits and zero walks in 5 2⁄3 innings in the Yankees’ 5-0 loss. Getting plenty of swings and misses with his secondary pitches, including the splitter, Tanaka struck out six.

“I was in battle mode,” he said through his translator. “I said to myself I want to pitch the way I would in the regular season.”

Tanaka’s biggest mistake was a home run to right-center by Ivan DeJesus in the third inning on a straight 90-mph fastball.

“The split, which has really been pretty good all spring, was [sharp],” Aaron Boone said. “It was a good final step before the season.”

Tanaka is slated to start the second game of the season next Friday in Toronto.

Drury banged up

Brandon Drury was hit on the left elbow by a pitch from Brian Johnson with two outs in the fifth inning and, after hustling to third on Neil Walker’s double, was replaced by a pinch runner. The Yankees said X-rays of the elbow came back negative. “Hopefully [he’s OK],” Boone said. “Definitely some swelling in there, so we’ll just have to see how he responds. He got a pretty good shot there.”

Andujar honored

Miguel Andujar, who hit four homers in a three-game stretch early in camp before cooling off significantly, was presented the James P. Dawson Award, given annually to the top rookie performer in camp, before Friday’s game. Andujar, a third baseman whom the Yankees recently played at first base in a game in minor-league camp, had a .262/.273/.643 slash line, four homers and 10 RBIs in 14 exhibition games.

Roster doings

Luis Cessa was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Wade LeBlanc was released.

New York Sports