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      TAMPA , Fla. (AP) — Troy Tulowitzki took a called third strike in his first simulated game of spring training and followed with a drive down the right-field line that would have been over Yankee Stadium’s right-field wall.“Honestly I feel good, ready to go,” he said. “Just excited to play.”Now 34, the five-time All-Star has not played in the major leagues since July 2017. He is projected to start at shortstop for the New York Yankees while Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery.Tulowitzki missed last season because of bone spurs in his right and left heels.“Taking a full year off was tough for me,” he said. “But I think it’s built some character, it’s built some toughness, and it makes you appreciate it that much more being out there. It’s been a long road. It’s took it’s toll but I’m still here standing.”Gregorius is expected to return to the Yankees between June and August. Tulowitzki isn’t expressing worry about his role.“I care about just doing the best job I can to fill in for Didi,” he said. “Things work themselves out.”Tulowitzki topped .300 or better four times from 2010-14 and 90 RBIs from 2009-11, boosted by Colorado’s hitter-friendly Coors Field.He agreed last month to a one-year contract with the Yankees for the major league minimum $555,000. That will be offset against the $20 million he is owed by Toronto, which released him. The Blue Jays also are responsible for $14 million in salary for 2020 plus a $4 million buyout of a 2021 team option.“The question now for him is going to be the ability to bounce back and can he endure the rigors of being a regular,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “He looks really good moving around in the field and where he’s at with his swing.”Boone said a plan is in place for Tulowitzki until mid-March and that he will play consecutive days before the team breaks camp.“The idea would be at some point middle of spring that we start to see some bounce back and that will kind of determine if he’s able to really be a regular,” Boone said.Tulowitzki has a no-trade provision in his deal with the Yankees. He hopes to find success in New York.“I’ve done a lot of things in my career,” Tulowitzki said. “The one thing that’s missing, I’ve been close, I haven’t won a ring.”MORE SWINGSGreg Bird , slowed by injuries last year and trying to unseat Luke Voit at first base, also took part in the simulated game. The left-handed hitter had three at-bats, including a walk and pop fly off a southpaw. “I think he’s added some weight in a good way,” Boone said. “I think, clearly, he feels like he’s through some of the physical things that we’re holding him back a little last year.” Yu Darvish walked off the mound after a bunch of walks, yet wasn’t worried. After a rocky first season for the Chicago Cubs full of injuries, he felt fine.“No pain,” he said Tuesday. “That was a huge part.”Darvish walked four in 1 1/3 innings against Arizona and didn’t give up a hit. It was his first time facing major league hitters since May — his last minor league rehab outing came in August and he had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow in September.A four-time All-Star with Texas, Darvish went 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA in eight starts last season with the Cubs, his first since signing a $126 million, six-year contract.“This is like my first outing in my life,” Darvish said. “I haven’t thrown the last seven months. I was so excited.”Darvish threw 36 pitches, only 17 for strikes. But he hit 96 mph with a fastball, a significant jump from his final outing in the minors last year.“It was a great day for me,” Darvish said.The 32-year-old Japanese ace also cracked a couple of jokes in English as he opted not to use a translator.“Interpreters are expensive for the organization Neil Walker Jersey , right? That’s why,” Darvish said.FROM AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUESCARDINALS 6, NATIONALS 1Adam Wainwright pitched two hitless innings and Paul Goldschmidt doubled and scored for St. Louis. Anibal Sanchez threw two hitless innings for Washington and Michael A. Taylor had two doubles.Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez had an injection to stimulate healing in his weak pitching shoulder and likely will not be in the starting rotation at the beginning of the season.RAYS 11, ORIOLES 5Christian Arroyo, a first-round draft pick by the San Francisco in 2013, homered for Tampa Bay during a 10-run eighth inning.Chris Davis hit a two-run homer for Baltimore. The game was shortened to eight innings because of rain.BRAVES 4, METS (SS) 3Starters Sean Newcomb of Atlanta and Corey Oswalt of New York each threw two hitless innings.Mets third baseman Todd Frazier said he has an injured left oblique muscle and will return to New York for a cortisone injection. Infielder Jed Lowrie is sidelined with pain in the back of his knee.TWINS 6, PIRATES 5Eddie Rosario doubled and singled for Minnesota. Tyler Duffy started and struck out three in two hitless innings.Patrick Kivlehan homered and singled for Pittsburgh.MARLINS 3, ASTROS 0Dan Straily started for the Miami and fanned three in two innings. Houston starter Gerrit Cole pitched a fast first inning and Wade Miley followed with two scoreless innings.TIGERS 14, METS (SS) 4Pete Kozma hit a three-run homer and Gordon Beckham doubled, singled and drove in a pair of runs for Detroit. Lefty Matthew Boyd started and gave up two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings.Rajai Davis doubled, homered and drove in two runs for the Mets. Zack Wheeler started and worked an inning and Jeurys Familia worked the second inning, giving up two runs on two hits.GIANTS 4, REDS 3Scooter Gennett doubled and singled for Cincinnati. Lefty Brandon Finnegan started and worked a clean inning.San Francisco starter Dereck Rodriguez gave up two hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings.WHITE SOX 9, ROYALS (SS) 7Already pleased with his leadership in the clubhouse since acquiring him in a trade with Cleveland, the White Sox saw Yonder Alonso’s power when he hit a two-run homer and a double.Hunter Dozier and M.J. Melendez each homered for the Royals.PADRES 3 Adrian Gonzalez Jersey , BREWERS 1Highly touted Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a two-run homer for San Diego. Chris Paddack struck out four in a two-inning start.Zach Davies threw two hitless innings for Milwaukee and Mike Moustakas doubled.ROYALS (SS) 8, DODGERS 2A.J. Pollock had two hits for Los Angeles and starter Kenta Maeda struck out two of the three batters he faced.Kansas City starter Ian Kennedy gave up one hit over two innings.INDIANS 5, ROCKIES 3Carlos Santana hit his first home run since being traded back to Cleveland in December. Daniel Johnson homered and tripled.Kyle Freeland, a 17-game winner a year ago, worked two innings in the start for the Rockies, giving up a run on one hit and a walk.RANGERS 4, MARINERS 4, 9 INNINGSJay Bruce had two hits and Kyle Seager doubled for Seattle. Marco Gonzales started and worked three strong innings, striking out five.Nomar Mazara doubled and singled for Texas.ANGELS 17, ATHLETICS 5Mike Trout got his first hit this spring and Peter Bourjos homered and singled for Los Angeles.Stephen Piscotty had two hits and two RBIs for Oakland. Reliever Fernando Rodney gave up four runs on four hits while getting just one out.DIAMONDBACKS 5, CUBS 4Wilmer Flores doubled and drove in three runs for Arizona. Starter Zack Godley was roughed up, giving up four runs on two hits and two walks while recording just two outs.Albert Almora Jr. and Javier Baez each doubled for the Cubs.