NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter went 1-for-4, scored a run and had an RBI in his season debut on Thursday but left in the eighth inning of the New York Yankees' 8-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals with tightness in his quadriceps.
Jeter was scheduled to undergo an MRI but did not think the stiffness in the quad was a serious problem.
Jeter returned after being out for nearly months because of two fractures in his right ankle. He started as the designated hitter and had infield hit in his first at-bat and scored New York's first run.
In his subsequent at-bats, Jeter grounded out to third baseman Miguel Tejada in the second and was robbed of a potential single to right field by second baseman Johnny Giavotella, who ranged to his left and made a diving stop. In his fourth at-bat, Jeter drove in a run with a hard groundout that shortstop Alcides Escobar initially bobbled.
Jeter's third and fourth at-bats were sandwiched around New York's second four-run inning in less than 24 hours. The Yankees had a four-run sixth in Wednesday's 8-1 rout in a game they held a 4-1 lead but before it started they were trailing 4-3.
The Yankees won their second straight after scoring a run apiece during a three-game losing streak. They improved to 8-3 in July, rallying from a 4-1 deficit with their second four-run inning in less than 24 hours.
Lyle Overbay had his second big hit in as many games with a two-out two-run bases loaded single in the fifth. That was set up by Vernon Wells drawing a walk after Robinson Cano's major league-leading 14th intentional walk.
Rookie Zoilo Almonte made it 7-4 with an RBI single to left field that scored Wells.
Andy Pettitte (7-6) did enough for his 11th consecutive win over Kansas City, allowing four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He held the Royals scoreless after allowing a base hit to Alcides Escobar that gave them a 4-1 lead with two outs in the second.
Pettitte struck out two, walked one and spent most of the day letting his defense make plays for him. He was backed by two key catches near the warning track by Almonte in left and Ichiro Suzuki in center in the sixth.
Shawn Kelley struck out Escobar for the final out of the sixth and pitched a scoreless seventh. David Robertson allowed a hit but struck out the side in the eighth and Boone Logan finished up.
Kansas City starter Ervin Santana allowed season highs of eight runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings.
Salvador Perez drove in two runs for Kansas City and Escobar and Lorenzo Cain had the other RBI.
NOTES: To make room for Jeter, 1B Travis Ishikawa was designated for assignment. Ishikawa was the 43rd player to appear for the Yankees this season and his two at-bats on Monday might turn out to the least by anyone who has appeared for the Yankees. ... Yankees DH Travis Hafner (left foot contusion) and CF Brett Gardner (right shin contusion) did not start and are day to day. Gardner batted for Jeter in the eighth. Both are considered day to day. ... The Royals placed RHP Wade Davis on the paternity list and recalled LHP Donnie Joseph from Triple-A Omaha. ... Ichiro led off for the seventh time and Wells made his 19th start as New York's cleanup hitter. ... Royals LHP Bruce Chen makes his first start of the season on Friday in Cleveland and manager Ned Yost said Chen is not under a pitch limit after he threw 85 pitches in his last relief appearance. ... Perez had been hitless in 13 straight at-bats before Thursday.