Derek Jeter walked to home plate, toyed with his batting gloves, stepped into the batter’s box as fans chanted his name, and legged out an infield hit.
A feeling of normalcy returned to Yankee Stadium in New York. The captain was back after a nine-month layoff.
But, perhaps, only for a few innings.
Jeter singled on his first pitch of the season, then felt tightness in his right quadriceps and was pulled for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning of the Yankees’ 8-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals Thursday.
He scored a run and went 1 for 4 with an RBI ground out as the designated hitter in his return from a broken ankle sustained in last October’s AL Championship Series opener. After icing the leg, the 39-year-old was headed to a hospital for a scan.
In a season 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.’’
Known for trying to ignore most injuries, Jeter vowed not to this time. Sort of.
‘‘I can’t trick the tests,’’ he said, before adding, ‘‘I always play.’’
He played through September and into October last year with what was called a bone bruise. The left ankle finally gave out in the ALCS opener against Detroit.
‘‘I don’t think it broke because I was 38. I think it broke because I continued to play on something that maybe I shouldn’t have,’’ Jeter said.
The possible setback is not what the Yankees were hoping for in a season also hampered by significant injuries to Alex Rodriguez, 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.’’
Andy Pettitte 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.
White Sox 6, Tigers 3 — Joshua Phegley’s sixth-inning grand slam gave Chris Sale some support, and visiting Chicago went on to beat Detroit in a game that included a bench-clearing altercation shortly after the White Sox took the lead.
Chicago trailed, 3-1, when Phegley cleared the bases with a homer off Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez. Luke Putkonen came on and got one out before throwing a pitch behind Alexei Ramirez, who started toward the mound before being restrained.
Benches and bullpens emptied, but the situation didn’t really escalate.
Orioles 3, Rangers 1 — Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 34th homer to back a dominating pitching performance by Miguel Gonzalez, and host Baltimore earned a split of its four-game series with Texas.
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.
Phillies 3, Nationals 1 — Kyle Kendrick outpitched All-Star Jordan Zimmermann, pinch hitter Kevin Frandsen hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh, and host Philadelphia took three of four from defending NL East champion Washington.
Rays 4, Twins 3 — Matt Moore won his 13th game, Luke Scott and Evan Longoria hit back-to-back homers, and surging Tampa Bay completed a four-game sweep of visiting Minnesota.
Indians 4, Blue Jays 2 — Rookie Danny Salazar allowed just one run and two hits over six superb innings to win his major league debut, leading host Cleveland over Toronto.
Braves 6, Reds 5 — Freddie Freeman celebrated his newly won All-Star berth by driving in four runs with three hits and host Atlanta edged Mat Latos and Cincinnati.
Cubs 3, Cardinals 0 — Edwin Jackson earned his third straight win, combining with four relievers on a four-hitter, and Anthony Rizzo drove in all the runs as host Chicago shut out St. Louis.
Diamondbacks 5, Brewers 3 — Martin Prado lined a two-run single in the eighth inning, Wade Miley pitched eight effective innings, and Arizona ended a three-game losing streak with a win over Milwaukee in Phoenix.
Giants 4, Padres 2 — Pablo Sandoval hit his first home run since May 21, and All-Star Madison Bumgarner settled down to allow just four hits in seven innings as visiting San Francisco beat San Diego.
Dodgers 6, Rockies 1 — Chris Capuano pitched shutout ball for 6⅓ innings, Mark Ellis drove in four runs, and host Los Angeles won its fifth straight.