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Yankees’ Josh Donaldson homers twice in ‘encouraging’ return from IL

New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium

Despite dropping the series opener to the Dodgers on Friday night, there were some encouraging signs for the Yankees offense.

Josh Donaldson enjoyed himself a strong day at the plate in his return from the injured list, accounting for the majority of New York’s run production in the 8-4 loss.

“It felt nice, I felt like I had some pretty good quality AB’s today,” Donaldson said postgame. “But at the end of the day we lost the game, and that’s what’s most important.”

After LA jumped all over Luis Severino in the first, Donaldson crushed a Clayton Kershaw slider to deep left-center, getting the Yankees on the board in the top of the second.

Then in the ninth with the Yankees still trailing, the slugger cracked another homer, this one a two-run shot also to left-center. He finished the day 2-for-4 and drove in three of the four Yankee runs.

Donaldson credited his fast start in his return to action to the work he’s been putting in during his rehab down in Triple-A.

“I feel like I had been having pretty good quality AB’s during my rehab. I had four games but I felt like I was putting together good at-bats down there,” he said. “I was able to get a couple of good pitches to hit today and made the most of them.”

Donaldson’s Yankee tenure has gotten off to a bit of a frustrating start. After struggling last year, he put together a strong showing in spring training, but landed on the IL just five games into the season.

The 36-year-old and skipper Aaron Boone are hoping the strong start in his return to the lineup is a sign of things to come.

“The guy has been a wrecking machine his whole life. I know it’s in there,” Boone said. “It was good to see him come out and get some results right out of the gate. Hopefully that can propel him a little bit.”

“Just going to put my best foot forward moving forward and continue to prepare and do whatever it takes to help the team win ballgames,” Donaldson added. “Today’s one day, gotta come out and do it again tomorrow.”