Josh Donaldson went 1–5 in his heated first return to Minnesota in a 10–4 Yankee victory on Tuesday, as the third baseman continued his relatively-sluggish season start against his former Twins teammates.
The most notable part of Donaldson’s night was a Trevor Megill fastball that nearly hit him in the 9th inning at 97 mph — though he made no effort to claim the pitch was intentional.
“I was just trying to get out of the way,’’ he told reporters after the game.
Nevertheless, the Yankee bench was clearly unhappy with the pitch, which saw Donaldson dive to the ground on the 0–1 count with a 6-run lead.
Donaldson got buzzed and the Yankees bench wasn't happy pic.twitter.com/Nnpjtp3DlN
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) June 8, 2022
Fans of the home team also reigned down boos on Donaldson nearly every time he was involved in the play.
“It is what it is,” he said postgame. “They cheered for me when I was here, they booed me here as an opponent, it’s fine.”
The contest marked the first time back in Minnesota since the Twins traded him to the Bronx, along with Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Ben Rortvedt in exchange for 2 pitching prospects. That was a way for the Twins to rid themselves of Donaldson’s contract, which will last at least another 2 years at $21 million per season.
He had previously played 163 games for the Twins, with a .263 batting average and 83 RBIs.
For more coverage of Josh Donaldson and the Yankees, head to amNY.com.
Donaldson’s .228/.337/.393 stat line through 55 games in a Pinstripes uniform would mark less-than-average for his career, as the 36-year-old infielder has seen steady declines in most statistical hitting categories over the previous 5 years.
Still, the Yankees have managed to win ball games with Donaldson in the lineup, as the Bronx Bombers find themselves atop the MLB with a 40–15 record. They also boast a 7 games lead ahead of the 2nd-place Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East.