Donaldson goes into HR trot … and gets thrown out

Yanks slugger nearly goes deep, thrown out on basepaths, picked up by teammates

October 13th, 2022

NEW YORK -- Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson thought he had homered off Guardians right-hander Cal Quantrill in the fifth inning of New York's 4-1 win in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. But Donaldson thought wrong.

The game was tied at 1 when Donaldson came to the plate to lead off the fifth. He connected with a 1-0 sinker and believed he had hit a home run that barely cleared the right-field wall. He was jogging around first base, but Guardians right fielder Oscar Gonzalez grabbed the ball and threw it in to shortstop Amed Rosario. Then, Rosario nabbed Donaldson, who had started to retreat to first base when the ball arrived in the infield.

Donaldson argued that he hit a home run. The umpires reviewed the play, and it showed the ball hit the top of the wall and bounced back onto the field. It was then ruled that Donaldson had a single and was out at first, so the game remained tied.

“I’m standing on the railing, and I’m thinking it’s gone,” Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge said. “I think everybody in the building thought it was gone. But the way it bounced off that wall, we saw it hit the top like that and not continue over. [I wondered] if a fan hit [the ball]. Yankee fans are good athletes. I expected somebody to make a catch on it out there.”

Said manager Aaron Boone: “Yeah, I mean, it's a unique one down that line. You're kind of body-languaging it. I haven't even seen the play yet because I was getting out of the way of some people to see where [it went], because I thought it was a home run off the bat. So I have to look at it a little bit better. If [Donaldson] is getting it right away, it is an automatic double. … So we have to make sure we're getting where we need to get to. So I'm glad it didn't end up hurting us.”

The Yankees picked Donaldson up a few minutes later. Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to right field and reached third base when the ball was bobbled by Gonzalez for an error. Jose Trevino followed with a sacrifice fly that gave New York a 2-1 lead.

In the sixth, the Yankees added to the scoring when Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer to chase Quantrill.

“[The Donaldson ball] was a weird play," Rizzo said. "It’s the second time it has happened this year. Again, that’s us picking each other up. [The Trevino] sacrifice fly was a pick-me-up for our team after a ball ended up on top of the wall. [Donaldson] thought it was gone.”