Donaldson’s bat has a snooze, but glove is as alert as ever

Josh Donaldson's good glove work was in evidence in Baltimore again Sunday.

Josh Donaldson’s good glove work was in evidence in Baltimore again Sunday.

Donaldson was all smiles after Sunday’s game in Camden Yards, and you might think that a bit odd given that the A’s third baseman went 0-for-5, including grounding out twice with the bases loaded.

In all, Donaldson came up with eight men on base in the first five innings and drove exactly none of them in.

It wasn’t like Saturday, when he struck out in every one of his four at-bats, a new career worst, but it wasn’t a day you write home about.

“It’s just two games,’’ Donaldson said. “It’s a long season. It’s no big deal. Things are fine.’’

He did homer in addition to drawing a walk and getting hit by a pitch in the series opener Friday.

It probably doesn’t hurt Donaldson any that while his bat was MIA, his glove as all over the place. The defensive stop and throw he made to start the third inning with the Orioles’ Nick Hundley at the plate was as fine a play as you will see a third baseman make.

He dove into foul territory to get Hundley’s smash, then made a monster throw from that position to get the out.

“That was just a ridiculous play,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s a double, and all of a sudden it’s an out. When you’re struggling with the bat, it’s very easy to let that ball get down the line, focus-wise. But he doesn’t do that. He doesn’t take a pitch off.’’

And it’s not like Donaldson’s offensive slumbers cost the team anything Sunday.

Brandon Moss unloaded a grand slam after Donaldson grounded into a force at the plate in the third inning. That have the A’s a 6-0 lead and they never looked back.

“It’s the way this team is,’’ Donaldson said. “It sucked I couldn’t get it done today, but somebody else did.’’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.