Masahiro Tanaka returns to Yankees after 2½ months on DL with torn elbow ligament

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New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, of Japan, delivers during a simulated game Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

NEW YORK — Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has returned to the New York Yankees after 2½ months on the disabled list because of a partially torn elbow ligament.

Tanaka allowed a first-inning run against the Toronto Blue Jays, giving up singles to Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista that put runners at the corners and then allowing Edwin Encarnacion's run-scoring double-play grounder.

Tanaka was to have a limit of 70-75 pitches. The right-hander had not pitched in a big league game since July 9, hoping the ulnar collateral ligament would not need surgery.

New York agreed in January to pay the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan's Central League $20 million over 18 months for right to Tanaka, then gave the pitcher a $155 million, seven-year contract. He started 11-1 with a 1.99 ERA in his first 14 appearances and is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts.

To clear a roster spot, the Yankees designated pitcher Chaz Roe for assignment.

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