Batting fifth and playing third base, Donaldson went 0-for-4. The 2015 AL MVP flied out to deep center and deep right, struck out and grounded into a forceout. The third baseman made a nifty backhand grab on C.J. Cron's sixth-inning grounder.
It marked Donaldson's first big league game since May 28, a layoff caused by a strained left calf.
"He looked to me like Donaldson,'' Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He took some ferocious swings, and he was on so many pitches. He squared up a couple and had nothing to show for it. He's got time and it gets exciting.''
Donaldson joined Cleveland just before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline, making him eligible to play for the Indians in the postseason.
After acquiring Donaldson from Toronto, the Indians placed him back on the 10-day disabled list on Sept. 3 and sent him on a minor league rehab assignment.
He hit a grand slam for Triple-A Columbus on Sept. 3, then joined Double-A Akron for three games in the Eastern League playoffs, going 2-for-10 with one home run.
Francona said he planned for Donaldson to be available off the bench Wednesday, then back in the starting lineup on Friday after Thursday's off day.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.