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Today in Blue Jays History: The Donaldson Dash

Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Five Years Ago Today

Josh Donaldson scored from second base on a ground ball to short to win the Blue Jays game three of the ALDS and sweep the Rangers.

With the game tied in the 10th inning, Donaldson led off everyone’s favorite Matt Bush with a double. After that, the Rangers decided to walk Edwin Encarnacion (who hit .375/.474/.938 in the series). Next up, Jose Bautista struck out on a full-count pitch(he had a challenging game, going 0 for 5 with 2 strikeouts). Russell Martin followed, hitting a double-play ball to shortstop Elvis Andrus. Andrus made the flip to Rougned Odor, but Odor threw wide of first. Mitch Moreland did an excellent job to block the throw, but Donaldson rounded third and headed for home and beat the throw home.

The Rangers challenged Edwin’s slide at second, but even Joe West couldn’t mess that up.

For the second year in a row, the Rangers’ infield errors helped us pull out a win.

It had been an exciting game.

Aaron Sanchez started for the good guys. He gave up a single to Carlos Gomez, who stole second and scored on two ground outs to get the Rangers a run in the first.

We would score three in the second. Ezequiel Carrera (leading off) singled. Then, an out later, Edwin would homer, and then, after another out, Martin would homer.

The Rangers got one back in the third on an Andrus home run.

Then we got two in the bottom of the inning. First, Carrera, leadoff with a single, stole second and scored on Donaldson’s ground-rule double. Then, Donaldson scored on a single from Encarnacion.

The Rangers got two in the fourth, Carlos Beltran walked, and Odor homered. We were still up, but now it was 5-4.

In the sixth, the Rangers scored two more to take the lead. With two outs, Sanchez walked Odor and gave up a single to Jonathon Lucroy, and that would be the game for Aaron. Joe Biagini came in and gave up a two-run double to Moreland. We were down 6-5.

Sanchez went 5.2, allowing 3 hits, but 4 walks, 5 strikeouts, and 2 home runs, for 6 earned. Two of the earned runs came after he left the game.

We tied it in the bottom of the sixth. Troy Tulowitzki hit a one-out single. He went to third on Melvin Upton’s double (remember him?). The Rangers intentionally walked Kevin Pillar, reliever Keone Kela threw a wild pitch, and the game was tied.

We got three innings of scoreless work from relievers Jason Grilli (one inning) and Roberto Osuna (two innings).

The Rangers got two scoreless innings out of Bush, but he ran into troubles in the tenth.

I took a fair bit of glee in Odor making the error that won us the series.

We had a lot of players do great in the series:

  • Carrera hit .333/.429/.583 and scored 4 runs.
  • Donaldson hit .538/.471/.846, with 4 doubles and 4 runs. He played some excellent defense. And he had that game-winning dash.
  • Encarnacion hit .417/.500/.917 with 2 home runs, 4 runs and 4 RBI.
  • Tulowitzki hit .462/.462/.846 with a triple and a home run and 5 RBI.
  • Marco Estrada pitched 8.1 innings of 4 hit ball in his start. He was terrific in the playoffs for us.
  • Osuna pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless ball, allowing just 1 hit with 4 strikeouts.

We played the Rangers in the ALDS two seasons in a row, and we got a lifetime’s worth of great memories (and Minor Leaguer came up with a lovely t-shirt, here is the post on the Donaldson Dash shirt).

Here is the play, in many languages: