Tanaka shines in return from injury

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Starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning on June 3, 2015 in Seattle (AFP Photo/Otto Greule Jr)
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Seattle (AFP) - The New York Yankees' Japanese hurler Masahiro Tanaka showed no sign of rust in his first start in more than a month on Wednesday, throwing seven sparkling innings in a 3-1 win over Seattle.

Sidelined for nearly six weeks by a strained right forearm, Tanaka returned to limit the Mariners' offense to one run on three hits. He struck out nine without a walk.

"His stuff was pretty good. He wasn't leaving a lot over the plate," said Seattle left fielder Dustin Ackley. "We did have our chances at that one point, but he worked himself out of it. He threw really well and you kind of have to hand it to him."

Tanaka, who hadn't pitched since April 23, struck out three of the first six Seattle hitters while beginning the game with two perfect innings.

He was tagged for a leadoff triple by Brad Miller to begin the bottom of the third, and Ackley followed with a double off the wall in left to erase Seattle's 1-0 deficit.

Ramon Flores later threw Ackley out at the plate with a throw from left field on Logan Morrison's single -- the last time a Mariner would reach base against Tanaka.

He retired the next 13 batters before he was lifted for Chris Capuano in the eighth.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi has said he wants to ease Tanaka in, and will keep him to a pitch limit. The Japanese pitcher was sidelined for part of last season with a partially torn right elbow ligament.