Tue, Oct 11, 2016 - Page 16 News List

Blue Jays beat Rangers 7-6 to sweep series


The Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday night beat the Texas Rangers 7-6 to sweep their AL Division Series (ALDS), while the Washington Nationals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 to even their NL series at 1-1.

Josh Donaldson, the reigning AL Most Valuable Player, led off the 10th for Toronto with a double into the right-center field gap then raced home from second base after Rougned Odor bounced a double-play relay.

“I was at third base when the throw was being made,” Donaldson said. “Once I saw [first baseman Mitch Moreland] miss the pick, I felt like I had to take a chance right there.”

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 are to face the winner of the Cleveland-Boston series.

The Indians lead 2-0, with game three rescheduled for yesterday following a postponement on Sunday.

Donaldson had two doubles among his three hits and is batting .538 through four post-season games, all wins for the Blue Jays, who had to beat Baltimore in a wild-card game to get to the ALDS.

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.

Edwin Encarnacion had a two-run homer and Russell Martin a solo shot in the first inning for Toronto, who swept a post-season series for the first time.

Shortstop Elvis Andrus hit a solo homer for Texas in the third and Odor added a two-run shot in the fourth. They were the only two homers of the series for the Rangers.

The Boston-Cleveland game was called off long before the gates had opened or the starting pitchers had begun to warm up.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said he would stick with pitcher Clay Buchholz for game three, while Josh Tomlin is to start for the Indians.

The Indians won games one and two at home, beating Boston’s two best pitchers and setting the stage for a sweep at Fenway. The rainout pushed that back one day — at least — and could extend David Ortiz’s career for another day as well.

In the NL, little-used Jose Lobaton changed the complexion of the Washington Nationals’ division series with one big swing.

Getting a rare chance to play because of starting catcher Wilson Ramos’ injury late last month, backup Lobaton hit a three-run homer through a strong wind to erase an early deficit.

Daniel Murphy provided two RBIs, and Washington’s bullpen threw 4-2/3 scoreless innings, leading the Nationals past the Dodgers 5-2 in a rain-postponed game two to even the best-of-five series.

“I’ve got to try to do something for the team,” said Lobaton, who had one hit off a left-handed pitcher all season before connecting with a curveball that stayed up from lefty Rich Hill with two outs in the fourth inning.

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