Derek Jeter’s return from a nine-month injury layoff did not quite go as planned on Thursday, as the New York Yankees captain strained a thigh and was taken out of the game.
Jeter singled on his first pitch of the season, then felt a tight right quadriceps and was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of New York’s 8-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
He scored a run and went 1 for 4 with an RBI groundout as the designated hitter in his return from a broken ankle sustained in October’s American League Championship Series opener. After icing the leg on Thursday, the 39-year-old was headed to a hospital for a scan.
In a season thus far memorable for sidelined stars rather than sustained success, the Yankees anxiously awaited the test results.
“It’s not frustrating, yet. We’ll see. They MRI everything around here,” Jeter said. “I hope it’s not a big deal.”
The possible setback is not what the Yankees were hoping for in a season also hampered by significant injuries to first baseman Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Francisco Cervelli.
“It’s kind of what we went through this year,” manager Joe Girardi said. “So hopefully it’s nothing, it’s just some leg tightness and he’ll be ready to go.”
New York cut short the shortstop’s comeback via the minor leagues after just four games following injuries on Wednesday to Travis Hafner and Brett Gardner.
Jeter found out about 11pm on Wednesday in Scranton, Pennsylvania, got back to New York in the wee hours, but only got a couple of hours sleep and was up at dawn.
“Couldn’t fall back asleep,” he said. “I was nervous going into the game. It’s almost like it’s opening day for me, even though we’re in — what are we in, July now? I lost track of the months.”
ORIOLES 3, RANGERS 1
In Baltimore, Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 34th homer to back Miguel Gonzalez, and the Baltimore Orioles beat Texas to earn a split of the four-game series.
Davis snapped an 0-for-17 skid and reached career highs in homers and RBIs (86) with a second-inning solo shot off Ross Wolf (1-2). His 34 home runs are the most in the majors before the All-Star break since 2001, when Barry Bonds had 39 and Luis Gonzalez hit 35.
Brian Roberts also connected for the Orioles.
Gonzalez (7-3) allowed one run, four hits and two walks in 6-2/3 innings.
Also on Thursday, it was:
‧ White Sox 6, Tigers 3
‧ Rays 4, Twins 3
‧ Red Sox 4, Mariners 3, 10 inns
‧ Indians 4, Blue Jays 2
AP, ATLANTA, Georgia
Freddie Freeman celebrated his newly won All-Star berth by driving in four runs with three hits, as the Braves beat Mat Latos and the Reds 6-5 on Thursday night.
Freeman held off Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig to win the fan voting for the final spot on NL All-Star roster. The first baseman drove in two runs with a first-inning double and added run-scoring singles in the second and fourth innings.
Justin Upton also had three hits to help Tim Hudson (6-7) earn his second straight win. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 25th save.
Latos (8-3) lasted only four innings in his shortest start of the season. He allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks. The six earned runs allowed matched his season high.
Braves right fielder Jason Heyward left the game in the second inning with a strained right hamstring.
Also on Thursday, it was:
‧ Phillies 3, Nationals 1