SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — Josh Donaldson started to show signs in the final exhibition that he might be a reliable replacement to Scott Sizemore, after all.
Sizemore tore a ligament in his left knee during Oakland’s first full-squad workout this spring training, ending his season and thrusting Donaldson into the starting third baseman spot before a game had been played. Donaldson finished 4 for 5 in the finale, pushing his batting average up to .270.
An otherwise quiet ending for San Francisco this spring training still had a bright spot.
Buster Posey, receiving rousing ovations from fans every time his name was announced, cleared another milestone with an RBI single in the first. Both were firsts at AT&T Park for the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year since a brutal season-ending collision at home plate last year with Florida’s Scott Cousins.
Posey had been 0 for 2 with two walks in Monday night’s exhibition in San Francisco. He also added a double in the fourth in the last spring training game.
A sun-soaked day at San Francisco’s cozy waterfront ballpark still belonged to an unproven slugger from across the bay.
After a so-so spring training, Donaldson smacked a two-run shot to left in the second to put Oakland ahead 2-1. He followed with a three-run homer to deep left-center in the third off Petit for his only long balls this spring training.
Donaldson’s latest go-around in the Bay Area figures to last a little longer than his first.
Originally a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs, Donaldson was traded to Oakland in a deal for pitcher Rich Harden in 2008. He briefly played for the A’s in 2010 and hadn’t done much since.
Sizemore was acquired by Oakland last May in a trade with Detroit. He hit .249 with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs in 93 games with Oakland.
The 26-year-old Donaldson wasn’t the only A’s hitter to suddenly find some pop in a lineup that rarely shows any of it.
Jonny Gomes—from nearby Petaluma—also hit a solo home run earlier in the third, helping Oakland build an 8-1 lead and coasting the rest of the way. Brian Wilson retired both batters he faced in the eighth, all the work Giants manager Bruce Bochy wanted from his bearded closer in the exhibition finale.
The real games start soon enough.
The Giants open the regular season at defending NL West champion Arizona on Friday. The A’s host Seattle in the last two of a four-game set that began in Japan and was squeezed between the final week of the exhibition schedule.
NOTES: A’s right-handed reliever Joey Devine was still waiting to hear the results from an MRI on his surgically repaired right elbow. Dr. James Andrews was scheduled to read the scan for Devine, who had Tommy John surgery in April 2009 and is experiencing more problems. Devine is already on the DL with right biceps tendinitis and has been shut down for now. He hopes this won’t threaten his season. “This is the story of my life,” Devine said. “It’s just a constant. It’s pretty sore—same symptoms, putting shampoo in my hair, turning a doorknob.” … The A’s optioned RHP Tyson Ross to Triple-A Sacramento. Manager Bob Melvin plans to have Ross return April 17, the first time the A’s will need a fifth starter. … The Giants will open AT&T Park for a free viewing party Friday night so fans can watch the team’s opener at Arizona.
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