Masahiro Tanaka’s second game in pinstripes will be in a starting role after working relief in his debut and it’s something the right-hander is looking forward to.

Tanaka worked two scoreless innings in relief Saturday against the Phillies at home. Thursday he starts against the Phillies in Clearwater and will be guaranteed to face a higher quality of hitters from the start than he did Saturday after entering in the fifth inning.

“I think it’s important to face good batters in the States,’’ Tanaka said Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “I need that experience.’’

Tanaka drew high praise for his two innings against the Phillies in which he allowed two hits, fanned three and didn’t issue a walk. Still, he is looking to be better Thursday.

“That is something that I am always aware of, how I pitch out there and is something I am always conscious of,’’ Tanaka said.

Manager Joe Girardi views Thursday’s outing as a measuring stick for the Yankees’ $175 million investment.

“I think it’s an opportunity to see what he feels like he needs to do to be successful over here. Had a ton of success in Japan and they want to be able to make adjustments just like anyone else,’’ Girardi said. “We always talk about players getting called up for first time, first time through and the league figures you out and he’s going to go through that, too, but I think he loves to compete and I think that’s why he wants to pitch in those kinds of situations.”