See Josh rake: Donaldson is first to 100 RBIs
ANAHEIM -- Josh Donaldson is having the type of MVP-caliber season that won't be forgotten any time soon, and in Saturday night's 15-3 win over the Angels, he reached another milestone by becoming the first player in the Major Leagues to reach 100 RBIs.
Donaldson reached the 100-RBI plateau in the Blue Jays' 123rd game of the season, which is the sixth fastest in franchise history. Toronto hasn't had a player reach 100 RBIs that quick since Carlos Delgado did it in the 101st game in 2003.
Toronto's slugging third baseman also could not have picked a better stage to reach the important benchmark. The Blue Jays' series at Angel Stadium has been billed as a matchup between the two primary MVP candidates in Donaldson and Mike Trout. This round clearly went to Donaldson.
"One hundred means a lot, especially the last couple of years I've been right around it and haven't been able to get there," said Donaldson, whose previous career high was 94 in 2014.
"It's cool to have it done, but without my teammates and the guys who are getting on base, it's not possible. I'm not hitting 100 homers. Those guys are getting on base and doing their job and I'm able to come through sometimes as well."
Donaldson has been serenaded with MVP chants every time he steps to the plate in Toronto, and he's heard them this weekend as well. In the opening two games, he responded with one homer, three doubles, nine RBIs, three runs and a walk.
The timing of Donaldson's contributions have been even more impressive. He opened the scoring in the third inning Saturday night with a three-run homer to left off Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney. Of Donaldson's 34 home runs this year, 23 have either tied the game or given the Blue Jays a lead.
Donaldson registered four hits Saturday night for the third time this year. His 34 home runs are tied with the Orioles' Chris Davis for second in the Majors behind the Mariners' Nelson Cruz (37). Donaldson has 44 multi-hit games, which is third most in the American League, and 18 of his last 29 hits have gone for extra bases (eight doubles, 10 home runs).
"I've been watching that all year," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's really locked in right now, no doubt about it, but he's been doing it all year. I've been describing it all year, and he's a great player ... 100 RBIs before we reach the month of September is pretty good."
The show has been impressive all year and the AL Most Valuable Player matchup between Trout and Donaldson will make for a compelling final month of the season. Both players will have plenty of guys lobbying on their behalf, and while Trout is the reigning MVP it should come as no surprise players inside the Blue Jays clubhouse are outspoken in support of their teammates.
"It's pretty easy for me to figure what he can do," Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista said. "He's the best in the league so far, by far the MVP so far this year. If anybody doesn't think that, they're a fool."