Center fielder David DeJesus tracked down Jeter's deep drive off Bruce Chen. He snared the ball just before he ran into the padding on the fence in front of the Yankees' bullpen with his arm extended in front of him. His glove and wrist twisted back and the ball popped out as DeJesus fell.
Jeter looked over his shoulder, puffed his cheeks and motored home for the second inside-the-park home run of his career, tying the game at 3. His first came Aug. 2, 1996, his rookie season.
DeJesus remained down while right fielder Willie Bloomquist retrieved the ball and threw it toward the infield. DeJesus was replaced by Rick Ankiel, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list earlier Thursday.
The Royals said DeJesus sprained his right thumb and would miss the remainder of the four-game series.
Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez, who had four RBIs, hit a solo homer to right field in the seventh inning, putting New York ahead 6-4 and leaving him one shy of becoming the seventh major league player to reach 600.