Donaldson doubled down the left-field line with two outs in the inning, but as he rounded first base to run to second, he came up hobbling. Donaldson slowly made his way to second base, narrowly getting his foot on the bag before Royals second baseman Hanser Alberto could apply the tag.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and trainer Michael Salazar went out to check on Donaldson, who tested the hamstring out by running on the infield, but the club opted to remove him in favor of pinch-runner Nick Gordon.
“I just checked on Josh. I talked to him in the training room. He does not seem too concerned with what’s going on,” Baldelli said after the loss. “Some very mild hamstring tightness.”
Baldelli didn’t have any plans in place for a roster move involving Donaldson, instead opting to wait for further evaluation. But losing Donaldson for any period of time would hurt a Minnesota team struggling through a five-game losing streak and still missing Byron Buxton in the lineup.
Over his last 10 games, Donaldson is hitting .333 with a 1.153 OPS, and his three homers put him one behind Nelson Cruz for the team lead. Donaldson was playing to the point that Baldelli had mentioned him while discussing Twins players who deserved All-Star consideration before Saturday’s game.
Now, Minnesota will have to wait and see if Donaldson can make a quick return to the field.
“We’re going to give him a day or two, see where he’s at, and then, hopefully, be able to move forward,” Baldelli said. “He’s been playing his butt off on both sides of the ball, and I look forward to getting him back in the lineup.”
It’s not the first time this season Donaldson has had issues with his hamstring. After doubling to the left-center gap in his first plate appearance of the year on Opening Day in Milwaukee, Donaldson also limped into second base. He wasn’t immediately removed from the game like he was on Saturday, but he didn’t make it back on the field in the bottom of the first inning as he was also removed with right hamstring tightness and eventually landed on the 10-day injured list.
Luis Arraez moved to third base in Donaldson’s place in the bottom of the inning as Gordon remained in the game in center field. Alex Kirilloff shifted from right field to left and Gilberto Celestino moved from center to right.