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Associated Press

Posted on July 12, 2013 at 4:00 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 12 at 4:02 AM

ROYALS-YANKEES

Jeter returns, helps Yankees beat Royals 8-4

NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Jeter was back, and the New York Yankees felt a whole lot better.

The Yankees captain singled on his first pitch of the season, scored a run and went 1 for 4 with an RBI groundout in his return from a nine-month layoff to help New York beat the Kansas City Royals 8-4 Thursday for a four-game series split.

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

CARDINALS-CUBS

Jackson, Rizzo lead Cubs over Cardinals, 3-0

CHICAGO (AP) — Edwin Jackson earned his third straight win, combining with four relievers on a four-hitter, and Anthony Rizzo drove in all the runs to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.

St. Louis had the tying run at the plate in the ninth inning after Kevin Gregg dropped a throw covering first on Allen Craig's grounder, and David Freese walked.

Alfonso Soriano made a shoestring catch on Jon Jay's liner to end the game. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was then seen arguing vehemently with plate umpire Dan Bellino and appeared to make contact with him.

The Cubs escaped with the win, and Gregg got his 16th save in 18 chances.

Jackson struck out five without a walk in seven innings. Starlin Castro added three singles and scored two runs for the Cubs, who won for the fifth time in six games.

CARDINALS-HOLLIDAY

Cardinals' Holliday leaves game with leg injury

CHICAGO (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday has left Thursday's game against the Chicago Cubs because of an apparent leg injury.

Holliday clutched his right hamstring when he was halfway to first base on a grounder to shortstop in the fourth inning and walked gingerly off the field after being tended to by a trainer.

He did not take the field in the bottom half.

Allen Craig moved from first base to left field, while Matt Adams took over at first and moved into the third spot in the order.

The extent of Holliday's injury was not immediately announced.

CARDINALS MOVES

Cardinals recall Martinez from Triple-A

CHICAGO (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals have recalled top pitching prospect Carlos Martinez from Triple-A Memphis and optioned right-hander Michael Blazek to their top minor league team.

The moves were announced on Thursday.

A 21-year-old right-hander, Martinez made seven relief appearances for the Cardinals in May and was 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA. He's been starting in the minors but is expected to work out of the bullpen.

Blazek made four appearances, allowing three runs over three innings, and did not figure in a decision.

MAVERICKS-MEKEL

Mavericks sign Israeli guard Mekel

IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks have signed free agent guard Gal Mekel from Israel.

Dallas announced the deal Thursday, making Mekel the second Israeli-born player to sign with an NBA team.

The Mavericks didn't announce contract details, but agent Sam Porter said last week that the 6-foot-3 Mekel had agreed to a three-year deal with $2.3 million guaranteed.

Mekel played two seasons at Wichita State before leaving school early to play professionally in Europe. He won his second Israeli League MVP award last season, when he averaged 13.3 points and 5.4 assists for his championship team.

Forward Omri Casspi, who played the last two seasons in Cleveland after two in Sacramento, was the first Israeli-born player in the NBA. He is signing as a free agent with Houston.

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