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Donaldson crushed it, but sometimes Coliseum is too tough

Josh Donaldson was surprised his ball in eighth inning Monday didn't clear center field wall at Coliseum

Josh Donaldson was surprised his ball in eighth inning Monday didn’t clear center field wall at Coliseum

Josh Donaldson came within inches of a three-run homer in Monday’s opener. The fact that he wound up with a single says everything you need to know about the Coliseum when it is cold and wet.

“I couldn’t believe that ball didn’t go out,’’ Donaldson said Tuesday, hours before the A’s were rained out of a Coliseum game for the first time since 1998. “I don’t know what else I can do.’’

Donaldson felt the same in the end of July and early August when he was hammering the ball with his 32-ounce bat “and it was just winding up on the warning track.’’

To combat that problem, Donaldson switched to a bat weighing another 1½ ounces. He wound up hitting .309 the rest of the year with eight homers and 32 RBIs in his last 52 games.

“I’ve already switched to a heavier bat; I don’t think I can go heavier,’’ Donaldson said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to say it’s one of those things.’’

The one thing Donaldson says he won’t be doing is changing his swing. He’s not prepared to become a pull hitter. If he did, he says that wouldn’t be playing to his strength.

“You look at Miggy Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, Chris Davis,’’ he said. “Those are high-power guys who are going to hit the ball out to center and in the gaps. They’re not always trying to pull the ball.

“I don’t want to pull the ball, either. I’m going to have to use the whole field.’’

That being said, Donaldson does have serious respect for someone like teammate Brandon Moss. The first baseman hit 30 homers last year to lead the A’s.

“What Brandon did last year was so very impressive,’’ Donaldson said, “when you consider he was playing half his games here, where the ball doesn’t go out so easily.’’

John Hickey

Returning to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.