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Donaldson had hit on his mind when he bunted in 8th inning

Josh Donaldson said there was a plan behind his eighth-inning bunt Thursday.

Josh Donaldson said there was a plan behind his eighth-inning bunt Thursday.

It was a move Josh Donaldson designed to fool the Yankees.

It fooled some of the A’s, too, when Donaldson tried to bunt in the eighth inning, batting with two on, no one out and Oakland down 2-1.

Donaldson had been hitless in his first three at-bats, and he looked to see the New York defense was deep and hoping for the double play.

So Donaldson squared around and didn’t get the bunt he wanted. The ball flicked off his bat and almost carried into the second deck of seats behind the plate at Yankee Stadium.

“They were playing me way back,’’ Donaldson said. “I knew the situation; I wasn’t just trying to move the runners over. I was trying to bunt for a hit in that situation.’’

He’d need to get one, because the A’s don’t particularly want their RBI co-leader (49) not to take his best shot. And they don’t want a bunt in that situation unless it’s a hit because with first base open, the Yankees could have walked the team’s other 49-RBI man, Brandon Moss.

“It’s not something that I do a lot,’’ Donaldson said. “But based on how I was feeling today, I thought I’d take a shot.’’

The third baseman was facing an 0-2 count after the failed bunt and quickly struck out. The A’s would not score in the inning or in the ninth before taking the loss.

“In 162 games, you are going to have games like this,’’ Donaldson 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.