Yankees’ Donaldson trots too soon, thrown out on near HR

Oct 11, 2022, 7:47 PM | Updated: Oct 12, 2022, 10:05 am
Fans reach for a ball hit by New York Yankees Josh Donaldson as it bounces off the top of the wall ...

Fans reach for a ball hit by New York Yankees Josh Donaldson as it bounces off the top of the wall during the fifth inning of Game 1 of an American League Division baseball series between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NEW YORK (AP) — Josh Donaldson didn’t run hard. He didn’t answer questions about it, either.

The veteran slugger went into a home run trot too soon — and his latest failure to hustle turned into an embarrassing out in the playoffs.

Leading off the fifth inning for the New York Yankees in their AL Division Series opener Tuesday night, Donaldson sent an opposite-field drive to right against Cleveland starter Cal Quantrill with the score tied 1-all.

Certain the ball would clear the short porch at Yankee Stadium, Donaldson put his head down and slapped hands with first base coach Travis Chapman as he jogged around the bag.

“I thought for sure it was a home run,” teammate Anthony Rizzo said.

Little did Donaldson realize, though, the ball was still in play. As a fan in a Yankees jersey reached for it, the ball ricocheted off the top of the fence right back to rookie Óscar González, who alertly fired to shortstop Amed Rosario at second base.

By the time Donaldson looked up, he was trapped between first and second. He tried to scramble back to first, but Rosario threw to first baseman Josh Naylor, who tagged out Donaldson as he dove headfirst back toward the bag.

“He ain’t the fleetest of foot. So we have to make sure we’re getting where we need to get to,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

A confused Donaldson pointed toward right field and spread his arms — but replays showed the ball never cleared the wall. A video review confirmed the call by right field umpire Mark Ripperger that it was not a home run and the ball stayed in play.

Donaldson was credited with a single.

After the Yankees won, he was not available to reporters in the clubhouse.

“It’s a unique one down that line like that. You’re kind of body-languaging it,” Boone said.

“I haven’t even seen the play yet because I was getting out of the way of some people to see where — because I thought it was a home run off the bat. So I have got to look at it a little bit better.”

It was hardly the first time Donaldson’s lack of hustle became an issue for the Yankees this year.

In his first season with the team after arriving from Minnesota in a March trade, the 2015 AL MVP failed to run hard on a groundout in May — and Boone took notice.

“Donaldson probably took his eye off it for a second,” Boone said then. “Now and then, you’ve got to say something. I’ve not said something yet.”

But on Sept. 5, the 36-year-old Donaldson was tagged out at second on an RBI single off the base of the left field wall. Appearing to think he had homered, Donaldson broke slowly out of the box, and Aaron Judge scored on the play just before Donaldson was tagged out.

Boone pulled Donaldson aside and had a word with him.

“Let’s not let that happen,” Boone said he told Donaldson.

“I don’t really worry about him from the game or hooked up standpoint; he’s locked in,” the manager added. “Yeah, that’s one of those, you’ve got to make sure. You better be sure.”

New York scored a run in the fifth following Donaldson’s gaffe, and Rizzo added a two-run homer in the sixth on the way to a 4-1 victory.

“I’m glad it didn’t end up hurting us,” Boone said.

Game 2 in the best-of-five series is Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.

Matt Bateman, a 44-year-old fan from Brooklyn, was the man closest to Donaldson’s drive who reached for the ball.

“It was hit right at us,” Bateman said. “It seemed like the ball hit the top of the wall. It hit my hand a little bit also, like my fingertip, and it caromed.”

___

AP freelance writer Larry Fleisher contributed to this report.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              Fans reach for a ball hit by New York Yankees Josh Donaldson as it bounces off the top of the wall during the fifth inning of Game 1 of an American League Division baseball series between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              Fans reach for a ball hit by New York Yankees Josh Donaldson as it bounces off the top of the wall during the fifth inning of Game 1 of an American League Division baseball series between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              Fans reach for a ball hit by New York Yankees Josh Donaldson as it bounces off the top of the wall during the fifth inning of Game 1 of an American League Division baseball series between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              Fans reach for a ball hit by New York Yankees Josh Donaldson as it bounces off the top of the wall during the fifth inning of Game 1 of an American League Division baseball series between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              Cleveland Guardians right fielder Oscar Gonzalez (39) reaches for a ball hit by New York Yankees Josh Donaldson as it bounces off the top of the wall during the fifth inning of Game 1 of an American League Division baseball series between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              Fans reach for a ball hit by New York Yankees Josh Donaldson as it bounces off the top of the wall during the fifth inning of Game 1 of an American League Division baseball series between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              New York Yankees Josh Donaldson is tagged out by Cleveland Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor as he tries to get back to the first base bag after hitting a single off the right field wall during the fifth inning of Game 1 of an American League Division baseball series, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

AP

FILE - San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds hits a single against the Chicago Cubs during the third in...
Associated Press

Bonds, Clemens left out of Hall again; McGriff elected

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling were passed over by a Baseball Hall of Fame committee that elected former big league slugger Fred McGriff to Cooperstown on Sunday. It was the first time that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling had faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearances on […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Capital murder defendant and former U.S. Border Patrol Juan David Ortiz looks around the cou...
Associated Press

Jurors hear ex-Border Patrol agent’s confession in killings

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jurors in the capital murder trial of a former U.S. Border Patrol agent have heard a taped interview in which he confesses to the 2018 killings of four sex workers in South Texas. If convicted of capital murder, Juan David Ortiz, 39, faces life in prison without parole because prosecutors are […]
19 hours ago
FILE - A Twitter logo hangs outside the company's San Francisco offices on Nov. 1, 2022. A top Euro...
Associated Press

As Musk is learning, content moderation is a messy job

Now that he’s back on Twitter, neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin wants somebody to explain the rules. Anglin, the founder of an infamous neo-Nazi website, was reinstated Thursday, one of many previously banned users to benefit from an amnesty granted by Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk. The next day, Musk banished Ye, the rapper formerly known as […]
19 hours ago
FILE - In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by th...
Associated Press

Iran morality police status unclear after ‘closure’ comment

CAIRO (AP) — An Iranian lawmaker said Sunday that Iran’s government is “paying attention to the people’s real demands,” state media reported, a day after a top official suggested that the country’s morality police whose conduct helped trigger months of protests has been shut down. The role of the morality police, which enforces veiling laws, […]
19 hours ago
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the J Street National Conference at the Omni Shoreham H...
Associated Press

Blinken vows US support for Israel despite unease over gov’t

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday the U.S. will not shrink from its unwavering support for Israel despite stark differences with Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu and concerns the Biden administration may have about potential members of his incoming right-wing government. Speaking to a left-leaning group that some on the right accuse […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Farmer: Georgia dog injured saving sheep from coyote attack

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia sheepdog is recovering at home two days after killing a pack of coyotes that attacked his owner’s flock of sheep, farmer John Wierwiller said. Casper, a 20-month old Great Pyrenees from Decatur, fought off a pack of coyotes who were threatening Wierwiller’s sheep farm, he said. The fight lasted […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Yankees’ Donaldson trots too soon, thrown out on near HR