Royals split series with Yankees

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NEW YORK — What could have been a sweep for the Royals turned into a draw. The Yankees overcame a 3-0 deficit Thursday to beat the Royals 8-4 after KC won the first two games of the series,

The Yankees exploded for a total of 16 runs in the last two to earn a four-game split.

The Royals took a 3-0 lead in the first on a two-run double by Salvador Perez and a sacrifice fly by Lorenzo Cain. The Yankees scored four runs in the fifth inning off Ervin Santana, taking the lead on Lyle Overbay’s two-run single. Santana (5-6) gave up season-high 8 runs on 10 hits in five-plus innings. Andy Pettitte (7-6) worked 5 2/3 innings for the win.

The game marked the return of Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. He went 1-for-4 with an infield single in his first at-bat. It was his first game in pinstripes since last fall when he broke his left ankle during the American League Championship Series.

The Royals move on the Cleveland for their last three games before the All-Star break.

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