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Three blasts back Tanaka's 4 perfect innings

Special to MLB.com

TAMPA -- Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka turned in the most dominating pitching performance of the spring vs. Detroit in New York's 7-1 victory on Saturday. In his third start, he pitched four perfect innings while striking out the first six batters he faced.

"Obviously, I'm satisfied with it. You get two strikes and then you're able to finish off the batter, so yes in that sense, I am satisfied," Tanaka said after his outing.

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TAMPA -- Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka turned in the most dominating pitching performance of the spring vs. Detroit in New York's 7-1 victory on Saturday. In his third start, he pitched four perfect innings while striking out the first six batters he faced.

"Obviously, I'm satisfied with it. You get two strikes and then you're able to finish off the batter, so yes in that sense, I am satisfied," Tanaka said after his outing.

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The Tigers wouldn't put a ball in play until the third inning, but they never reached base against Tanaka, who finished the afternoon with seven strikeouts.

Video: DET@NYY: Tanaka fans seven over four perfect frames

Tanaka got early support as Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez crushed the first pitch he saw from Tigers starter Daniel Norris into the right-field seats, a two-run homer that put the Yankees on top in the first. Sanchez added an RBI single in the fifth to extend the lead to 3-1.

Video: DET@NYY: Sanchez pads the lead with an RBI single

Norris struck out three over 3 2/3 innings, settling in nicely following Sanchez's homer. He allowed three hits and a walk in the outing.

"Once I got in that rhythm, I felt good, felt normal," Norris said. "Obviously that homer kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but first-pitch fastball, kind of felt like a popup. Whatever. It's part of the game. Other than that, I felt pretty good."

Third baseman Dixon Machado chipped in the Tigers' only run with an RBI single in the top of the fifth inning.

Yankees designated hitter Matt Holliday went 1-for-3 with a three-run blast in the bottom half of the fifth, and prospect Gleyber Torres added his first homer of the spring in the seventh to make it 7-1.

Video: DET@NYY: Holliday hammers a three-run homer to right

Tigers Up Next: Watch on MLB.TV as Michael Fulmer returns to work against his old organization, facing the Mets in a 1:05 p.m. ET matchup at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Fulmer missed his last turn in the Tigers' rotation after apparently turning his ankle during agility drills. Mike Pelfrey, Alex Wilson, Mark Lowe and Sandy Baez are also slated to pitch.

Yankees Up Next: The Yankees will host the Braves at Legends Field on Sunday at 1:05 pm ET. CC Sabathia is scheduled to make his second start of the spring. In his first, Sabathia didn't allow a run in two innings. He will be followed by Aroldis Chapman, Ben Heller, Chasen Shreve and Domingo German.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Mike Nabors is a contributor to MLB.com.

Masahiro Tanaka