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.
TWO AND TWO: Lin Chen-hao of Taiwan finished seventh in the women’s U-48kg category, winning two bouts before losses the quarter-finals and a repechage match Naohisa Takato yesterday won Japan’s first gold medal at their home Olympics, beating Taiwan’s Yang Yung-wei in the men’s under-60kg judo final. Yang’s second-place finish is Taiwan’s first medal in Tokyo and the nation’s first-ever medal in an Olympics judo competition. Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi beat Japan’s Funa Tonaki in the women’s under-48kg final less than an hour before Takato made sure that his team would not have a double heartbreak on the opening day of competition in its beloved homegrown martial art. Takato won his final three bouts in sudden-death golden score, but he took the final a bit anticlimactically after Yang committed
Four key men’s doubles pairings — dubbed by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) as “the group of death” — are to take over two courts side-by-side today just after midday in Tokyo, in matches that already have the badminton world abuzz. What is formally known as Group A pits pairings from Taiwan, Indonesia, India and Britain against one another — the former three ranked in the top 10. Taiwanese pairing Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin are set to challenge Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty of India, while world No. 1 duo Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia are to
After complaining about flying economy class to the Olympic Games, Taiwanese badminton player Tai Tzu-ying appeared satisfied with her hotel room in Tokyo, praising its proximity to the badminton venue. “It saves commuting time and allows more time to rest,” the 27-year-old Tai wrote on Instagram yesterday morning. “It’s very good.” The Athletes’ Village is about 50 minutes by car from the badminton venue, but the hotel is only a 10-minute drive, she said. “It’ll give me more time to rest and prepare, whether before or after a match,” Tai added. Taiwan’s badminton team is staying at the Marroad Inn Tokyo in Chofu City,
KEEP ’EM COMING: In her first Olympic appearance, Lo set a high bar, fighting her way to the final bouts, and earning Taiwan its second medal after Yang Yung-wei’s silver Taiwan’s Lo Chia-ling yesterday clinched the nation’s second medal at the Tokyo Olympics, grabbing a bronze medal in taekwondo in the women’s 57kg class. Nineteen-year-old Lo beat Nigeria’s Tekiath Ben Yessouf 10-6 at Tokyo’s Makuhari Messe convention center. Lo, who is making her first appearance in the Olympic Games, worked her way to the bronze medal contest with an early 20-18 win against South Korea’s Lee Ah-reum in the round of 16, before dropping Canada’s Skylar Park 18-7 in the quarter-final. It was Anastasija Zolotic of the US who denied the former World Taekwondo Junior Championship gold medalist a chance to fight for