Donaldson's multihit game helps All-Star case
Slugger goes deep, says team wins more important than individual votes
TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson says he'll trade votes for wins any day of the week.
Fortunately for him and the Blue Jays, he didn't have to sacrifice either of them on Sunday.
Donaldson continued to make his All-Star push in Toronto's series-clinching 3-2 win over Texas, breaking a scoreless tie in the fourth with his 18th home run of the season before adding a single in the fifth for his 28th multihit game of the year. The timely hitting marked the 12th instance one of his homers either tied or gave the Blue Jays the lead this season.
"He's a special guy," manager John Gibbons said after the game. "There's not many of them. He's done it so many times, it's hard to do."
The Blue Jays knew they were getting a winner when they acquired Donaldson during the offseason, but fewer than three months into his tenure with Toronto, the results are already beginning to pile up.
Donaldson, who trails Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas by just over 30,000 votes heading into the final update, leads the team in homers, runs, hits, and wins above replacement. His 58 runs scored are tied for the Major League lead, while his .540 slugging percentage and 18 homers rank first and second, respectively, among AL third basemen.
Donaldson, an All-Star in 2014 with Oakland, says the numbers are great and the votes are a bonus. But wins, he insists, are all that matter.
"We don't really talk about [making the All-Star team], we really just talk about how can we help the team win games," Donaldson said after the Blue Jays improved to 24-4 when he collects at least two hits in a game. "Ultimately, the whole All-Star thing and the individual recognition ... that comes when you're helping your team succeed, and so far this year I've been able to do that more times than not, and I think that's why I'm in that position [to potentially start]."
Donaldson's fourth-inning blast to left not only broke a scoreless tie and Chi Chi Gonzalez's perfect game, but it also snapped his longest homerless drought of the season. He entered Sunday having gone 14 straight games without a home run before drilling a solo shot into the Blue Jays' bullpen in left, projected to land 393 feet from home plate, according to Statcast™.
"He's one of those guys who's not afraid to fail," Gibbons said. "He wants to be in that position, but that's real hard to do."