Josh Donaldson on fire for the Yankees since the birth of his daughter

Josh Donaldson kicked off the Yankees regular season with a hit to beat the Red Sox.

More than five months later, he did it again to clinch his ticket to the playoffs.

Donaldson continued to swing a hot bat at an important moment, delivering an RBI single in the 10th inning to give the Yankees a 5-4 win over the Red Sox on Thursday night in the Bronx.

The veteran’s third hit of the night — and fourth hit of the season — netted auto-runner Marwin Gonzalez from second base and officially clinched a playoff berth for the Yankees with 13 games left in the season.

“It’s happened several times this year, [but] he does not disappoint,” Donaldson said of the game-winning delivery.

The Red Sox intentionally walked Gleyber Torres to lead the 10th, elevating Donaldson. He said he understood why they did it, to set up a double-deal scenario, but said the situation made him “happy”.

Josh Donaldson (right) celebrates his single without a date.
Corey Sipkins

Donaldson fell behind 0-1 against Kaleb Ort before throwing a 97mph fastball and clipping it to the left side to win it.

“It was a big deal,” manager Aaron Boone said.

All about Aaron Judge and his pursuit of the home run record:

In his last 10 games since returning from a stint on the paternity list for the birth of his daughter, Donaldson is 13-for-41 (.317) with four added hits and seven RBIs. He reached base safely in 12 straight games while settling into the clearing zone for a formation that is still missing a few key pieces.

“He’s just starting to get traction,” Boone said. “I feel like he’s been very close throughout this year, where he started for a day or two and then a little bit of a pullback. I feel like his energy was tremendous. He’s really locked in and focused.

“We are at that time of year where we obviously play a lot. I think you just see a very good player who is locked in and very much likes to be in the middle of winning scenarios. Good to see him getting more and more consistent results.

Donaldson, who received the player of the game belt in the Yankees clubhouse and gave a speech welcoming his playoff teammates, attributed his increased output to getting some things to clear his way a path.

“Not missing some pitches that I’m capable of hitting,” Donaldson said. “I feel like I’m confident, I feel pretty good at home plate right now.”

New York Post

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