New York Yankees' Derek Jeter singles during the first inning of the baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium Thursday, July 11, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)


NEW YORK - Derek Jeter stepped into the batter's box at Yankee Stadium for the first time in nine months, and the crowd rose as one and cheered.

The captain was back.

Jeter reached on an infield single on his first pitch following the long layoff, immediately testing his healed left ankle Thursday in the first inning of the Yankees' series finale against the Royals.

Jeter was the designated hitter and batted second in his first big-league game since he broke his left ankle during the ALCS 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.

Jeter went 1 for 4, scoring a run and driving one in during Thursday's 8-4 win over Kansas City. He left for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning after his right quadriceps tightened up.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Jeter will be sent for a test. Girardi said Jeter thinks he'll be ready to play tonight.

Freeman, Delabar get All-Star final spots

Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman and Toronto reliever Steve Delabar won the fan voting for the final spots in next week's All-Star Game, meaning Dodgers sensation Yasiel Puig is likely headed for a few days off.

Freeman set a record with 19.7 million votes.

Delabar won the AL final vote with 9.6 million votes. The right-hander is 5-1 with a 1.74 ERA in 37 appearances for the Blue Jays.

Pirates' Alvarez put in Home Run Derby

NEW YORK - Pedro Alvarez of the Pirates has replaced Carlos Gonzalez (sprained finger) of the Rockies on the NL team for the All-Star Home Run Derby.

Alvarez will join David Wright, Bryce Harper and Michael Cuddyer on the NL side Monday night, a day before the All-Star Game at Citi Field. Robinson Cano, Chris Davis, Yoenis Cespedes and reigning Derby champion Prince Fielder will represent the AL.

Inside pitch

• The proposed modernization of historic Wrigley Field in Chicago overcame an important hurdle Thursday when the Cubs and the city reached an agreement allowing the team to build an electronic Jumbotron and another sign above the ivy-covered outfield walls.

The city's landmarks commission unanimously voted to approve the deal, overcoming opposition from the local alderman and the owners of rooftop businesses who fear their negotiated views of the field will be obstructed. The matter now goes to the City Council.

• The Rangers are confident pitcher Yu Darvish won't be sidelined for long with a strained upper back.

Darvish was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, but the move is retroactive to July 7, and the team thinks he will return to the rotation after the All-Star break.