Josh Donaldson went from bat slam to bat flip in eventful Yankees start
TORONTO — Josh Donaldson got his afternoon off to an angry start Sunday – and then his first inning got even worse. He found a way to make up for it, though.
The Yankees third baseman was hit by a 94 mph fastball on the first pitch he saw from Blue Jays lefty Yusei Kikuchi, then proceeded to spike his bat as he walked to first base, where he was picked off to end the frame. But Donaldson hit a two-run home run in the third to give the Yankees the lead.
Donaldson, the former Blue Jay, was also hit by a pitch in the Yankees’ last series against Toronto last month, by reliever Yimi Garcia. He was 0-for-4 in his career against Kikuchi entering Sunday.
The plunking put runners on first and second with two outs for Gleyber Torres, but a miscue by Donaldson took the bat out of his hands. After Torres swung through a 2-0 pitch, Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk fired down to first, where Vladimir Guerrero Jr. slapped the tag on Donaldson to pick him off and end the inning.
Torres then led off the second inning with a solo home run that cut the Blue Jays’ lead to 2-1. And Donaldson made up for getting picked off by hitting a two-run homer in the third to put the Yankees ahead 3-2.