Fri, Oct 02, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Blue Jays clinch first title in 22 years

Reuters

Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays hits an RBI double against the Baltimore Orioles in their American League game in Baltimore, Maryland, on Wednesday.

Photo: USA Today

The Baltimore Orioles easily won the second game of their doubleheader with Toronto, but the Blue Jays had already clinched the American League East title with victory in the first.

Chris Davis led a four-homer attack with two solo shots, while starter Kevin Gausman shut down Toronto for eight innings as the Orioles scored an 8-1 victory in the late game.

However, that had come after Toronto locked up their first American League East title in 22 years with a 15-2 victory in the first.

“It’s the ultimate right now,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “To be honest, we think we have more ahead of us. It was a big hurdle to get over. It had been so damn long, but I’m proud of our guys. That’s what happens when you throw a lot of talent together and they get after it every night. Good things happen.”

Gibbons gave credit to general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who made a number of moves this season to improve the Blue Jays.

He got third baseman Josh Donaldson from the A’s and signed catcher Russell Martin in the winter, then brought in players like left-hander David Price, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Ben Revere close to the trading deadline.

“We played good baseball,” said Price, who is 9-1 since moving from the Tigers. “I’ve done my part and so has everybody else on this team. It’s not one person. It’s not one trade. It’s everybody with one goal in sight and that’s what we’ve done.”

The title means a lot to Martin, who is a Canadian and loved coming back to his home country.

“We’re dangerous offensively,” Martin said. “We’re dangerous on the mound. We play awesome defense. So ... if somebody’s going to beat us, they’re going to have to play tremendously.”

Starter Marcus Stroman (4-0) threw eight strong innings in the 15-2 rout of Baltimore in the first game on Wednesday.

“To do it for the city of Toronto, and to do it with these group of guys, it’s been a dream come true,” Stroman said. “Everyone’s elated. Everyone’s ecstatic, happy. It’s been a really long time since this city has been to the playoffs.”

The second game was scoreless until the Orioles broke it open with a five-run seventh inning keyed by back-to-back solo homers from designated hitter Davis and third baseman Manny Machado.

Davis’ first homer was the 200th of his career. He then got his second homer in the eighth inning, while catcher Matt Wieters also added a two-run shot.

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