Josh Donaldson shines in Yankees' big win over Rays

Josh Donaldson is greeted by teammates following his opposite-field homer against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.|Art or Photo Credit: AP

NEW YORK -- Somewhere between the clubhouse and the delivery room, Josh Donaldson decided his paternity leave could be a blessing in more ways than one. Exhilarated by the whirlwind of welcoming a daughter, the Yankees infielder resolved to bring that energy between the white lines upon his return.

Donaldson flexed his "dad strength" as the Bombers came out of the gates swinging on Saturday, flipping his bat to celebrate one of the club’s seven consecutive first-inning singles, then belting a second-inning homer. New York’s 10-3 rout of the Rays restored its lead in the American League East to 4 1/2 games.

“Being at home, being around my family and going through that experience, it was pretty special,” Donaldson said. “It just really put things in perspective, having that joy to come out here and play this game that I love to play.”