AP

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.

AP

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court has h...

Associated Press

Supreme Court decision on Trump’s election status could come Monday morning

A SCOTUS decision could come Monday in the case about whether Trump can be kicked off the ballot over his efforts to undo his 2020 defeat.

11 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley poses for a selfie after speakin...

Associated Press

Nikki Haley wins D.C. Republican primary, her first 2024 victory

Nikki Haley has won the Republican primary in the District of Columbia, notching her first victory of the 2024 campaign.

12 hours ago

An Apache group that has fought to protect land it considers sacred from a copper mining project in...

Associated Press

A US appeals court ruling could allow mine development in central Arizona on land sacred to Apaches

An Apache group that has fought to protect land from a copper mining project in central Arizona suffered a significant blow.

17 hours ago

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said yogurt sold in the U.S. can ma...

Associated Press

Eating yogurt may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, FDA says

Eating at least two cups of yogurt a week might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

19 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

3 days ago

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

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