Donaldson looks like a natural in leadoff spot

Third baseman hits leadoff homer, goes 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored in Friday's loss

Donaldson looks like a natural in leadoff spot

CLEVELAND -- Josh Donaldson looked like a natural in the leadoff spot. You could have never guessed it was his first career start there.

The Blue Jays third baseman was making his leadoff debut due to an injury sustained by rookie second baseman and typical leadoff hitter Devon Travis in the third inning of Thursday night's game.

Didn't take him long to fit in.

The second pitch Donaldson ever saw as a leadoff hitter -- a 95-mph fastball from Carlos Carrasco -- was deposited onto the Home Run Porch at Progressive Field.

The following inning, Indians leadoff hitter Jason Kipnis also slugged a homer, making it the first time since May 14, 2014 that two teams had their leadoff hitters go deep in the same game.

"Yeah, I haven't seen that too often with leadoff guys hitting homers to start the game," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I'm sure it's happened, but I don't know if I've ever seen it. If you're a good hitter, you can hit anywhere."

And he didn't stop there. Donaldson singled, and later scored, in the third inning, staying aggressive by taking a first pitch slider up the middle. He walked in the fifth. He walked again in the seventh. In all, Donaldson went 2-for-3 in his leadoff debut with a homer, two walks, two runs and an RBI in the Blue Jays' 9-4 loss.

He doesn't expect to stick in the leadoff spot once Travis returns from injury, but his debut there, from an individual perspective, couldn't have gone much better.

August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.