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Donaldson’s slow start not as slow as last year’s

Josh Donaldson had two hits Monday, but generally isn't happy with the way he's swinging.

Josh Donaldson had two hits Monday, but generally isn’t happy with his swing.

There might have been someone less impressed with the single and double put forward by A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson Monday than was Donaldson himself, but there couldn’t have been many.

Simply put, Donaldson doesn’t think much of the .161 start he’s gotten to the season, seven games in which he has one extra-base hit – Monday’s double to right-center – and one RBI.

“I don’t feel good at the plate right now,’’ Donaldson said after Monday’s game. “I’m trying to battle through it.’’

Specifically, Donaldson doesn’t like where the rubber meets the road, or in his case, where the bat meets the baseball.

“My problem right now is with my contact point,’’ he said. `I’m catching the ball in front or too deep.’’

Donaldson is in quest of better timing so that he can catch the ball over the middle of the plate and drive it. He did that in his second at-bat Monday when he ripped a double to right-center. He just hasn’t done it often enough.

“It’s been a little frustrating,’’ he said. “But so far we haven’t played a lot of games.’’

The bright spot is that Donaldson is actually ahead of last year’s pace. He was hitting .120 after seven games in 2013 and went on to put together his best pro season, hitting .301 with 24 homers and a team-best 93 RBIs.

And manager Bob Melvin said the double to right-center was a sign that things are picking up for the third baseman.

“He’s at his best going to right-center like that,” the manager said.

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.