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Kansas City at New York

Scoreboard
Kansas City (43-46)3100000004100
N.Y. Yankees (50-42) «12004100x8112

Yankees win, Jeter scores in return before quad tightens

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter was back, and the New York Yankees felt a whole lot better.

At least until he needed to make an early exit.

The Yankees captain singled on his first pitch of the season, then was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning with a tight right quadriceps in an 8-4 victory Thursday over the Kansas City Royals.

"I hope it's not a big deal," Jeter said.

Jeter scored a run and went 1 for 4 with an RBI groundout as the designated hitter in his return from a nine-month layoff from a broken ankle. He said his quad tightened up during his third at-bat, and added he didn't think this injury came from pushing too hard in his debut

"It's just stiff," he said. "We'll find out tomorrow."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the 39-year-old Jeter will be sent for a scan.

"Jete thinks he'll be ready to play" on Friday night at home against Minnesota, Girardi said.

Andy Pettitte (7-6) settled down after another shaky first inning to win consecutive starts for the first time since April. Lyle Overbay hit a go-ahead, two-run single in a four-run fifth against Ervin Santana (5-6) as New York overcame a 3-0 deficit and split the four-game series.

Jeter batted second in his first big league game since he broke his left ankle during the AL championship series opener Oct. 13. He said after the initial injury he would return by opening day, then fractured the ankle again in April during his rehabilitation and missed the first 91 games of the season.

"I was nervous going into the game," Jeter said.

New York cut short the star shortstop's rehabilitation assignment in the minor leagues after just four games following injuries Wednesday night to Brett Gardner and Travis Hafner. Gardner pinch-hit for Jeter in the eighth.

Jeter turned on a 95 mph fastball in the first and sent a three-hopper up the third-base line that fell from Miguel Tejada's throwing hand. Jeter didn't acknowledge the crowd of 40,381, which chanted "De-rek Je-ter! De-rek Je-ter!" as he ran up the line well past first base, then returned to the bag.

Jeter's ankle got more tests when he raced to third on Robinson Cano's single up the middle and came home without a throw on Vernon Wells' sacrifice fly to right.

The Yankees' all-time hits leader grounded out in the second and again in the fifth, when second baseman Johnny Giavotella made a diving stop to prevent an RBI single. Jeter hit a sharp grounder to shortstop with the infield in during the sixth. Alcides Escobar bobbled the ball as Luis Cruz scored from third, and Jeter was thrown out as he jogged up the first-base line.

Jeter had not been introduced at Yankee Stadium by Bob Sheppard's recording in 271 days, since he sprawled onto his stomach while trying to field Jhonny Peralta's 12th-inning grounder up the middle, immobile on the infield dirt and yelled out in pain. He hobbled off the field on his good ankle, one arm draped around manager Joe Girardi and the other around trainer Steve Donahue.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman made the decision to bring back Jeter when he was driving home after New York's 8-1 win Wednesday's and spoke with Jeter by phone. Jeter went 1 for 9 in his tuneup at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including 0 for 3 with a throwing error during seven innings Wednesday night.

"I think it's easy to say that you would expect with his age and a double break that I think he'd lose a step or two or half a step, but I think he's moving extremely well from what I'm told," Cashman said.

Girardi said Jeter is likely to start at shortstop for Friday's series opener against Minnesota.

"I think Derek would run himself out there the next 70 games if it was up to him," Girardi said. "I mean, that's just who he is. He expects to play every day. So from that standpoint I think we have to guard against rushing him back too much, and we have to pick days off, and we have to pick DH days. In the perfect world, you have a month of spring training, but this has not been a perfect world around here this year."

Jeter did not speak with reporters before the game.

A 13-time All-Star with a .313 career average, Jeter hopes to jolt a batting order that is next to last in runs in the AL. The Yankees started Thursday fourth in the AL East at 49-42.

Six players have appeared at shortstop in his absence, hitting a combined .211 with two homers and 25 RBI, according to STATS. Only Seattle shortstops had a lower batting average.

New York hopes to get third baseman Alex Rodriguez back this month following January hip surgery and center fielder Curtis Granderson next month after his broken pinkie has healed. First baseman Mark Teixeira is out for the season following wrist surgery.

Rodriguez began Thursday 2 for 15 (.133) with one RBI in six minor-league games for Tampa and Charleston, both Class A farm teams.

Cashman said Rodriguez will be given the full 20 days of the rehab assignment, which runs through July 21.

"There's a reason he's in A-ball, and there's a reason we were able to put Derek in Triple-A right from the start, because Derek was obviously much farther along," Cashman said.

Kansas City took a 3-0 lead in the first, when Salvador Perez hit a two-run double and Lorenzo Cain had a sacrifice fly. Pettitte has allowed nine runs in the opening inning of his last six starts, with batters going 14 for 31 (.452). The Royals' only other run was unearned, set up by Pettitte's throwing error in the second.

Pettitte gave up eight hits in 5 2-3 innings, and three pitchers combined for two-hit relief.

Santana allowed eight runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings, the most runs off him since July last year against Cleveland. New York closed to 4-3 in the second when Austin Romine hit an RBI double and scored on Eduardo Nunez's single.

After Overbay's two-out, go-ahead hit, Zoilo Almonte and Nunez followed with run-scoring singles for a 7-4 lead.

Notes

  • The Yankees cleared a roster spot by designating 1B Travis Ishikawa for assignment.
  • Hafner bruised his left foot and Gardner his right leg when he was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game. Gardner pinch-hit for Jeter in the eighth and flied out.
  • LHP Donnie Joseph made his big league debut for the Royals, getting one out in the seventh. RHP Wade Davis was put on the paternity leave list.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Derek Jeter beats out a grounder to third for an infield single and goes on to score the Yanks' first run.  (USATSI)
Derek Jeter beats out a grounder to third for an infield single and goes on to score the Yanks' first run. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

D. Lough
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
New York

L. Overbay
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alex Gordon, LF4110023 .287
Alcides Escobar, SS5021013 .246
Eric Hosmer, 1B5110004 .287
Billy Butler, DH4100101 .266
Salvador Perez, C4012001 .291
Lorenzo Cain, CF3011011 .257
Miguel Tejada, 3B4000013 .280
Johnny Giavotella, 2B4010000 .219
David Lough, RF4130011 .297
Totals37410416  
Batting
2B - Salvador Perez (16, Pettitte)
SF - Lorenzo Cain (5)
RBI - Alcides Escobar (28), Salvador Perez 2 (38), Lorenzo Cain (36)
2-OUT RBI - Alcides Escobar (6)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Lorenzo Cain 1
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ervin Santana (L,5-6) 51088340 3.37
Tim Collins 1000000 3.55
Donnie Joseph 0.1100100 0.00
Louis Coleman 1.2000040 0.00
IBB - Cano by Ervin Santana
WP - Ervin Santana (5), Louis Coleman (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 87-50, Tim Collins 7-5, Donnie Joseph 10-6, Louis Coleman 21-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 8-2, Tim Collins 2-1
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 27, Tim Collins 3, Donnie Joseph 3, Louis Coleman 5
New York (A.L.) Yankees
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ichiro Suzuki, CF3111110 .278
Derek Jeter, DH4111002 .250
   a-Brett Gardner, PH-DH1000000 .272
Robinson Cano, 2B3110101 .299
Vernon Wells, RF2101100 .241
Lyle Overbay, 1B3112111 .245
Zoilo Almonte, LF4021010 .284
Eduardo Nunez, SS4121022 .222
Luis Cruz, 3B4110023 .152
Austin Romine, C4121010 .153
Totals32811848  
a-flied out for Jeter in the 8th
Batting
2B - Austin Romine (4, Santana)
SF - Vernon Wells (3)
SH - Ichiro Suzuki (5)
RBI - Ichiro Suzuki (23), Derek Jeter (1), Vernon Wells (36), Lyle Overbay 2 (42), Zoilo Almonte (9), Eduardo Nunez (8), Austin Romine (3)
2-OUT RBI - Ichiro Suzuki (8), Lyle Overbay 2 (20), Zoilo Almonte (4), Eduardo Nunez (2), Austin Romine (1)
SB - Ichiro Suzuki (13, 2nd base off Santana/Perez)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Eduardo Nunez (4, Misplayed grounder), Andy Pettitte (3, Throwing)
New York (A.L.) Yankees
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Andy Pettitte (W,7-6) 5.2843110 4.39
Shawn Kelley (H,5) 1.1100020 3.74
David Robertson 1100030 2.17
Boone Logan 1000000 2.31
HBP - Gordon (by Andy Pettitte)
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 95-60, Shawn Kelley 21-16, David Robertson 14-12, Boone Logan 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 11-6, Boone Logan 1-2
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 28, Shawn Kelley 5, David Robertson 4, Boone Logan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40381
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Paul Nauert