The Toronto Blue Jays and their mighty offense outlasted the Texas Rangers 7-6 in 10 innings in Game 3 of their American League Division Series on Sunday night at Rogers Centre in Toronto, completing their sweep of the best-of-5 series, eliminating Texas for a second straight year.
Josh Donaldson led off the 10th inning with a double against Matt Bush, pitching in his third inning of relief, followed by an intentional walk to Edwin Encarnacion. After a strike out of Jose Bautista, Russell Martin grounded into a near double play, but as the throw got away at first base, Donaldson raced home with the game winner and the win.
The Blue Jays advance to the American League Championship Series for a second straight year, the first time they have done that since winning back-to-back World Series in 1992 and 1993.
The Blue Jays got home runs by Encarnacion and Russell Martin in the first inning to get things started, part of a seven-run night and a resurgent October after struggling over the final month of the season.
Toronto finished ninth in the majors in runs per game in 2016, after leading the league last year. But after averaging 4.91 runs per contest through August, the Blue Jays hit only .236/.334/.358 in their final 29 games, averaging 3.66 runs per game.
So far in the postseason, including the Wild Card Game against the Baltimore Orioles and this three-game Division Series sweep of Texas, the Blue Jays are undefeated in four games, scoring 27 total runs, including 10 home runs.
Doomed from the start
The Rangers got another poor start in this series, this time by Colby Lewis, who was pulled before he could record an out in the third inning. Lewis allowed five total runs, including two home runs in this inning, joining Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish in the poor start club.
Those three pitchers have combined to allow 17 runs (16 earned runs) on 16 hits in 10⅓ innings, with four walks, seven strikeouts and seven home runs allowed. That’s a 13.94 ERA.
The American League Championship Series begins on Friday, with the Blue Jays traveling either to Cleveland or Boston. The Indians lead the Red Sox 2-0 in their ALDS, with Game 3 scheduled for Monday afternoon. The entire ALCS will be televised by TBS.
Toronto was 3-4 against the Indians in 2016, and 10-9 against their divisional rival Red Sox.