IAN HARRISON, Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) — Josh Donaldson raced home from second base after Rougned Odor bounced a double-play relay in the 10th inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 7-6 to sweep their AL Division Series on Sunday night.
Donaldson, the reigning AL MVP, led off the 10th with a double into the right-center field gap, and then Matt Bush intentionally walked Edwin Encarnacion.
After Jose Bautista struck out, Russell Martin hit a grounder to shortstop Elvis Andrus, and Andrus tried to start a double play with a feed to second baseman Odor. Odor short-hopped his throw to first baseman Mitch Moreland and the ball skipped away, allowing Donaldson to dash home and beat Moreland’s throw with a dive across the plate.
The wild-card Blue Jays are headed back to the AL Championship Series after beating Texas in an ALDS for a second straight year and will face the winner of the Cleveland-Boston series. The Indians lead 2-0, with Game 3 scheduled for Monday following a postponement Sunday.
Toronto’s bench emptied and swarmed around Donaldson near home plate, while Bush kneeled in the infield and watched the celebration. The umpires huddled to review the play at second base, but after a brief delay, the crowd of 49,555 went wild when crew chief Joe West signaled the run counted.
Bautista’s homer and emphatic bat flip in Game 5 was the lasting image from Toronto’s ALDS win over the Rangers last season. On May 15, Odor famously punched Bautista to spark a brawl in Texas, and the broadcast of Sunday’s game showed a fan-made sign declaring “would rather get punched in May than get knocked out in October.”
Donaldson had two doubles among his three hits and is batting .538 through four postseason games, all wins for the Blue Jays, who had to beat Baltimore in a wild-card game to get to the ALDS.
Bush had thrown two scoreless innings in relief prior to beginning the 10th.
Closer Roberto Osuna threw two perfect innings to get the win. His appearance capped 4 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball by Toronto’s bullpen after starter Aaron Sanchez allowed six runs.
Encarnacion had a two-run homer and Martin a solo shot in the first inning for Toronto.
Elvis Andrus hit a solo homer in the third, the first home run of the series for the Rangers, and Odor added a two-run shot in the fourth.
Moreland gave Texas a 6-5 lead with a two-run double off Joe Biagini in the sixth, but Toronto responded in the bottom half when Troy Tulowitzki scored on Jonathan Lucroy’s bases-loaded passed ball.
Colby Lewis allowed five runs in two innings for Texas.
Texas has lost six straight postseason games, all to Toronto. Texas hadn’t lost on a game-ending play since June 30 against the Yankees.
Blue Jays: 2B Devon Travis (right knee) sat out his second straight game but was available off the bench. Travis, who was scratched from the lineup Friday, had a cortisone shot Saturday. … LHP Francisco Liriano (concussion) exited the ballpark several hours before the game because he wasn’t feeling well.
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