ARLINGTON -- If third baseman Josh Donaldson keeps this up, the Blue Jays will be dangerous.Donaldson, who hit just just .222 over the last month-plus of the regular season, went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored in Thursday's 10-1 win over the Rangers in Game 1 of the
ARLINGTON -- If third baseman Josh Donaldson keeps this up, the Blue Jays will be dangerous.
Donaldson, who hit just just .222 over the last month-plus of the regular season, went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored in Thursday's 10-1 win over the Rangers in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.
"I hope so," Donaldson said when asked if he feels his luck is turning. "All you can do as a hitter is try to put together a good at-bat, hit the ball hard. When you hit the ball soft, sometimes that works out, too. Today I was able to get some hits, contribute to this win, and it was nice to get that run early [in the third inning]."
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The reigning AL MVP Award winner, Donaldson missed three straight games in September with a hip issue, though he was mired in an 0-for-23 slump prior to that. He showed signs of breaking out in Tuesday's AL Wild Card Game against Baltimore. And on Thursday, Donaldson became the first Blue Jay to reach base five times in a postseason game since Roberto Alomar in Game 4 of the 1992 AL Championship Series.
"Last year, he won the MVP, he's one heck of a player," teammate Troy Tulowitzki said of Donaldson, who doubled twice, drew a walk and hit a pair of singles. "People think he's going to be on fire throughout the whole season, that's not the way it works. This game, there's a lot of ups and downs, and hopefully, he's getting hot at the right time."
Donaldson put Toronto on the board in what would become a five-run third inning when he doubled in Ezequiel Carrera. The low line drive glanced off third baseman Adrián Beltré's glove and went into left field.
"I just missed it a little bit. I kind of lost it in the [noise of the] fans," Beltre said. "I didn't get my glove there quick enough, but I should have had it."
Donaldson, who became just the sixth Blue Jays player to record four hits in a postseason game, was also surprised.
"He's done it to me so many times in the past, you just kind of expect it," Donaldson said of Beltre's knack for hit-robbing plays. "But when he's not able to make the play, and to drive in the RBI, that's always a plus."
Donaldson singled home Devon Travis in the fourth, which was the final inning for Rangers starter Cole Hamels. Donaldson, who recorded a base hit in his final at-bat, in the eighth inning, was replaced by Darwin Barney in the ninth.
"I think we were able to hit some quality pitches today [off Hamels]," Donaldson said of a Toronto team that chased Texas' ace after 3 1/3 innings and seven runs (six earned).
"The first at-bat, [I] put together a decent at-bat against him. He has a really good fastball; I just think today we were able to catch a few breaks. When he made mistakes, we were able to take advantage of it."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.