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AL Division Series A

Jays walk off to ALCS on Donaldson's dash

MLB.com

TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays have settled the score once and for all in their heated rivalry with the Texas Rangers. The reward is a trip to the American League Championship Series.

Josh Donaldson scored on an errant throw by Rougned Odor in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Blue Jays pulled off a dramatic 7-6 victory over the Rangers in Game 3 of the AL Division Series on Sunday night at Rogers Centre, completing a sweep. Toronto had runners on first and second base when Russell Martin hit a grounder to the hole between shortstop and third base. Elvis Andrus got the out at second, but Odor's relay throw to first got away from Mitch Moreland, and Donaldson beat the first baseman's throw to home plate with a headfirst dive.

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TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays have settled the score once and for all in their heated rivalry with the Texas Rangers. The reward is a trip to the American League Championship Series.

Josh Donaldson scored on an errant throw by Rougned Odor in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Blue Jays pulled off a dramatic 7-6 victory over the Rangers in Game 3 of the AL Division Series on Sunday night at Rogers Centre, completing a sweep. Toronto had runners on first and second base when Russell Martin hit a grounder to the hole between shortstop and third base. Elvis Andrus got the out at second, but Odor's relay throw to first got away from Mitch Moreland, and Donaldson beat the first baseman's throw to home plate with a headfirst dive.

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The Blue Jays will play the Indians in Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday at 8 p.m. ET at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The ALCS will be broadcast on TBS, as well as Sportsnet and RDS (in French) in Canada.

Blue Jays get much-needed rest before ALCS

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Donaldson hustles home, clinches ALDS

"Well it was 3-2 and Russell was taking some pretty big swings," said Donaldson. "I was expecting contact right there. I was able to get a pretty good secondary [lead]. I was at third base when the throw was being made. Once I saw him miss the pick, I felt I had a chance right there, and fortunately for us, I was able to make it."

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Donaldson on sweeping the ALDS

:: ALDS: Blue Jays vs. Rangers coverage ::

The umpires reviewed whether Edwin Encarnacion's slide into second was legal, but the ruling on the field was confirmed and no interference was called.

"It was crazy," Martin said. "That's the best ground ball to short I've ever had, I think."

Donaldson led the way for Toronto with a 3-for-5 night, which included a pair of doubles and an RBI. Encarnacion and Martin added first-inning homers, while right-hander Aaron Sanchez did not factor into the decision after he was charged with six runs on three hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings. The bullpen took it the rest of the way with 4 1/3 scoreless frames.

Sanchez puts 'JDF16' on hat in tribute to Fernandez

Odor's night came to an end in devastating fashion, but he earlier hit a two-run homer and scored a pair of runs. Andrus also went deep for Texas and Moreland added two RBIs with a go-ahead double in the sixth inning. Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis did not receive a decision after he allowed five runs on five hits over two-plus innings. The loss went to Matt Bush, who tossed two scoreless innings before the decisive 10th.

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Odor discusses his off-line throw

After posting AL's best record, Rangers' exit 'hurts'

"It's our belief that any time you enter Spring Training, it's one mission, and that's to win and play for the opportunity to win the World Series," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "That's been our mission all along. It's disappointing in a sense we're not going to continue to play. But I'm most proud of how our guys continued to battle."

Blue Jays are scary good heading to ALCS

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The mad dash: Encarnacion helped set up Donaldson's mad dash by getting to second base in 3.55 seconds, which forced Odor to rush his throw to first on the final play. According to Statcast™, that was Encarnacion's fastest first-to-second time on a forceout or double play all season, topping his previous best of 3.81 seconds. Martin got down the first-base line in 4.6 seconds, his sixth-fastest home-to-first time of the nearly 250 non-bunt times tracked for him this year. Donaldson topped out at 19.5 mph, which was faster than any speed he clocked in the last two weeks of the regular season after missing three games with a sore hip. More >

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Blue Jays' hustle delivers walk-off win

"When you have 50,000 fans screaming, it kind of numbs the pain a little bit," said Donaldson, who is still bothered by the sore hip. "It gives you that little extra bolt of adrenaline. … The fact of the matter is I want to be out there for my team, my teammates want me out there and I want to contribute in any way possible."

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Donaldson on scoring series-ending run

Donaldson pulls a Hosmer with mad dash home

Costly passed ball: The Rangers had a 6-5 lead going into the bottom of the sixth before a one-out single by Troy Tulowitzki, a double by Melvin Upton Jr. and an intentional walk to Kevin Pillar loaded the bases. Reliever Keone Kela got Darwin Barney to pop out, but his first pitch to Ezequiel Carrera got away from catcher Jonathan Lucroy for a passed ball to tie the game. Kela retired Carrera on a flyout to right to end the inning.

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Tulo scores to tie game on a passed ball

"We all expected to compete better than this," Lucroy said. "It's very disappointing."

Andrus goes deep: Andrus hit his first postseason home run in the third inning. He had gone 169 at-bats without hitting a homer. That was the fifth-longest drought in postseason history. Omar Vizquel holds the record with 228 at-bats without a homer in the postseason. It was also the first home run by a Texas shortstop in the postseason. That's the only position besides pitcher that hadn't gone deep for the Rangers in the postseason.

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Statcast™ measures Andrus' solo homer

Moreland delivers: The Rangers, trailing 5-4, mounted a two-out rally in the sixth when Sanchez walked Odor and gave up a single to Lucroy. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons then brought in right-hander Joe Biagini to face Moreland, who doubled into the left-center-field gap to put Texas ahead. More >

Rangers tie up Game 3 on line drive that somehow escapes Pillar's glove

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Moreland plates two with a double

"It's disappointing to end it like that," Moreland said. "We fought hard."

The Ed-Wing: In shades of the AL Wild Card Game, Encarnacion unloaded on an 0-1 pitch from Lewis during the bottom of the first inning and sent it over the wall in left field. According to Statcast™, Encarnacion's fourth career postseason homer had a projected distance of 395 feet and left his bat at 104.8 mph. Encarnacion is now third all-time in franchise history with his four postseason home runs, trailing only Joe Carter and Jose Bautista, who each have six. Martin followed two batters later with a solo shot to left field as the Blue Jays jumped out to an early 3-1 lead. More >

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Statcast™ measures Blue Jays' homers

"We weren't thinking about [revenge], we were just thinking about winning," Encarnacion said. "Thank God we swept them. But we're only thinking about winning, not about what happened before."

QUOTABLE
"The thing with the playoffs is the teams that are best over the course of the year get to the playoffs, but the teams that make it to the end are the hottest teams. They were hotter than we were. They outplayed us." -- Lucroy

"Obviously, great job by [Donaldson] on being heads-up there and taking a huge risk. But it's like any risky situation in life -- if you succeed, you have a great payoff. We won the series based on his great ability to take that chance." -- Bautista

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Blue Jays' win marked the 32nd time a postseason series ended on a walk-off play. Toronto has prevailed in the last two, including the AL Wild Card Game, making it just the second team in history to clinch on walk-off plays twice in the same postseason. The other? The 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks prevailed with a walk-off in Game 5 of the National League Division Series and then ended that year's World Series on Luis Gonzalez's walk-off single off the Yankees' Mariano Rivera. Both of those wins by Arizona came in the bottom of the ninth, however, so the Blue Jays are the only team to clinch twice on walk-offs in extra innings.

Did you know? Key facts from Rangers-Blue Jays Game 3

Seven players homered for the Blue Jays in this series, which ties a Major League record for a Division Series. Carrera, Encarnacion, Bautista, Martin, Tulowitzki, Pillar and Upton all had at least one home run.

Video: Seven different Blue Jays homer in ALDS

WHAT'S NEXT
Rangers: Opening Day 2017 is against the Indians on April 3 at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Blue Jays: Toronto advances to the ALCS, where it will face Cleveland.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Elvis Andrus, Edwin Encarnacion, Colby Lewis, Russell Martin, Mitch Moreland, Rougned Odor, Aaron Sanchez

Blue Jays' title chase fueled by homers

Encarnacion, Martin hit club's 9th and 10th of postseason in Game 3
MLB.com

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays bashed their way back to the American League Championship Series, tying an AL Division Series record with seven players going deep in the three-game sweep over the Rangers that culminated with Sunday's 7-6, 10-inning walk-off win.

"What we do -- we get criticized a lot for it -- we rely upon that home run ball," Toronto manager John Gibbons said of a group that has outhomered its opposition 10-3 this postseason to return to the ALCS. "You know what? Whether you like it or not, that's the kind of players we have."

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TORONTO -- The Blue Jays bashed their way back to the American League Championship Series, tying an AL Division Series record with seven players going deep in the three-game sweep over the Rangers that culminated with Sunday's 7-6, 10-inning walk-off win.

"What we do -- we get criticized a lot for it -- we rely upon that home run ball," Toronto manager John Gibbons said of a group that has outhomered its opposition 10-3 this postseason to return to the ALCS. "You know what? Whether you like it or not, that's the kind of players we have."

View Full Game Coverage

:: ALDS: Blue Jays vs. Rangers coverage ::

The Blue Jays will play the Indians in Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday at 8 p.m. ET at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The ALCS will be broadcast on TBS, as well as Sportsnet and RDS (in French) in Canada.

"And when we run into a little drought, you come up empty a lot of nights, low-scoring games, that kind of thing," Gibbons said. "Really, it was a tough September; we battled. We really picked it up at the end just to get in. And since the month has turned over to October, it kind of looks like the old team."

Coming off a September in which Toronto scored the fewest runs in the AL, the Blue Jays capped a fantastic ALDS against the Rangers with two more big blows in the clincher.

After Texas scratched out a run in the top of the first, Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run home run and Russell Martin added a solo shot in the bottom of the inning.

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Blue Jays' first-inning homers

For Martin, it was his first hit of the postseason, snapping an 0-for-11 stretch in emphatic fashion. The exit velocity of 106.8 mph made it Martin's fifth-hardest-hit homer this year, and it had a projected distance of 378 feet, according to Statcast™.

It was also the Blue Jays' ninth of the series, tying an LCS record with the 2015 Cubs, '04 Astros, '02 A's and 1995 Yankees. Records aside, Toronto's lineup coming alive -- coupled with its strong starting rotation -- makes it a very dangerous team as MLB moves into its final four.

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Martin on walk-off win to sweep ALDS

"We definitely feel good with where we're at," said Josh Donaldson, Sunday's walk-off hero, who raced home from second on Martin's grounder following a throwing error by second baseman Rougned Odor to score the winning run in the 10th. "We're pitching well and we're playing good defense, and right now we've been able to hit the homer. And that's big. That's a positive for our offense, because there's times when we rely on that because we don't have a lot of guys in our lineup that are speed-oriented and that are going to really take advantage of a lot of extra bases.

"That's not really how we're built. But we are built to hit the long ball, and we were able to do that this series, and it's going to be important for us throughout the entire way."

Down, 1-0, after the first three outs, Encarnacion wasted no time putting Toronto back out in front with a towering two-run shot to left field off a Colby Lewis slider. According to Statcast™, the ball came off Encarnacion's bat with an exit velocity of 104.8 mph and a launch angle of 32 degrees, making it a barreled ball, and the home run had a projected distance of 395 feet. It marked his second homer of the series and third this postseason.

During the regular season, only three of the 19 homers Lewis allowed came on sliders.

This one gave Encarnacion four postseason homers, the third-most postseason homers in club history, with Joe Carter and teammate Jose Bautista each having totaled six. Encarnacion has homered in three of his past four games. Sunday's blast mirrored his game-winning three-run homer in the 11th inning of the AL Wild Card Game against the Orioles on Tuesday night.

Brittany Ghiroli has worked for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Edwin Encarnacion, Russell Martin

Pair of Rangers' leads quickly erased in Game 3

Moreland's sixth-inning double had Texas thinking ahead to Game 4
MLB.com

TORONTO -- The Texas Rangers had two leads in three games in the American League Division Series -- one that lasted about 10 minutes, and the other that ended up with, time-wise, about the same level of staying power.

The Rangers were swept by the Blue Jays in Game 3 on Sunday night, but offensively in that deciding contest, they performed better than they did in the first two. Though Toronto got off to a roaring start, scoring five runs in the first three frames, Texas didn't let up, and it caught up, before taking an eventual 7-6 loss in 10 innings.

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TORONTO -- The Texas Rangers had two leads in three games in the American League Division Series -- one that lasted about 10 minutes, and the other that ended up with, time-wise, about the same level of staying power.

The Rangers were swept by the Blue Jays in Game 3 on Sunday night, but offensively in that deciding contest, they performed better than they did in the first two. Though Toronto got off to a roaring start, scoring five runs in the first three frames, Texas didn't let up, and it caught up, before taking an eventual 7-6 loss in 10 innings.

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:: ALDS: Blue Jays vs. Rangers coverage ::

Mitch Moreland gave the Rangers their last lead of the game when he launched a two-run double off Joe Biagini in the top of the sixth inning that was just out of the reach of a diving Kevin Pillar, putting Texas ahead, 6-5.

"It's never fun to end it," Moreland said. "Just a tough way to go out, but we played hard, we left everything we had on the field. Honestly, I can say if you look around, everybody that was on the field and the dugout tonight that had a Texas Rangers uniform on gave it everything they had. That's something to be proud of."

A Jonathan Lucroy passed ball in the bottom of the frame, however, knotted the game at 6, a score that would hold up until the 10th, when the Blue Jays walked off with the victory.

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Moreland on falling short in ALDS

"Today we had a chance to win," Lucroy said. "We were up by one. We let some balls get away from us. They were just hot and they had a lot of momentum. We just made some mistakes. They took advantage of them, and that's what we got."

Carlos Gomez led off the game with a walk and eventually scored on a Carlos Beltran groundout. The lead was short-lived -- Toronto scored three in the bottom of the frame, behind home runs by Edwin Encarnacion and Russell Martin.

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Rangers score run without a hit in 1st

"Offensively, we didn't really click in these three games," Adrian Beltre said. "The only guy that was hitting was [Elvis Andrus]. Besides that, we didn't really contribute offensively. The pitching staff struggled a little bit. The bullpen was pretty solid. That's about it. We didn't do enough to win ballgames."

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

Texas Rangers, Adrian Beltre, Mitch Moreland

Did you know? Key facts from Rangers-Blue Jays Game 3

MLB.com

It was another unforgettable night in Toronto, as the Blue Jays enjoyed another dramatic walk-off win in the postseason in their 7-6 triumph over the Rangers in 10 innings on Sunday night. The victory clinched a sweep for Toronto in the American League Division Series, sending the Blue Jays to their second consecutive AL Championship Series to face the Indians for a shot at the 2016 World Series.

Toronto will play Game 1 at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Friday night at 8 p.m. ET. The ALCS will be broadcast on TBS, as well as Sportsnet and RDS (in French) in Canada.

View Full Game Coverage

It was another unforgettable night in Toronto, as the Blue Jays enjoyed another dramatic walk-off win in the postseason in their 7-6 triumph over the Rangers in 10 innings on Sunday night. The victory clinched a sweep for Toronto in the American League Division Series, sending the Blue Jays to their second consecutive AL Championship Series to face the Indians for a shot at the 2016 World Series.

Toronto will play Game 1 at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Friday night at 8 p.m. ET. The ALCS will be broadcast on TBS, as well as Sportsnet and RDS (in French) in Canada.

View Full Game Coverage

Before the Blue Jays move on, here's one final look at the facts and figures from their wild and historic Game 3 victory:

:: ALDS: Blue Jays vs. Rangers coverage ::

• Sunday's game was the seventh contest in postseason history to end on a play that saw the batter reach on an error, but it was the first to end a series. The last came in Game 3 of the 2014 National League Championship Series, when the Giants' Gregor Blanco reached on a throwing error by the Cardinals' Randy Choate, and Brandon Crawford came around to score.

• The Blue Jays' win marked the 32nd time a postseason series had ended on a walk-off play. Toronto has prevailed in the past two, including this year's AL Wild Card Game against the Orioles, becoming just the second team in history to clinch on walk-off plays twice in the same postseason. The other? The 2001 D-backs prevailed with a walk-off in Game 5 of the NLDS and then ended that year's World Series on Luis Gonzalez's walk-off single off the Yankees' Mariano Rivera. Each of those wins by Arizona came in the bottom of the ninth, however, so the Blue Jays are the only team to clinch twice on walk-offs in extra innings.

This is also the second time the Blue Jays have enjoyed two extra-inning wins in the same postseason. In 1992, Toronto defeated Oakland, 7-6, in 11 innings on the road in Game 4 of the ALCS and then defeated Atlanta, 4-3, also in 11 innings, to win Game 6 of the World Series and clinch its first World Series championship.

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Donaldson hustles home, clinches ALDS

• The game's final play carried an interesting note, as Texas had completed the most double plays (190) of any team this season, and Toronto had hit into the most double plays (153).

• By winning all three games against Texas, the Blue Jays completed a postseason sweep for the first time in franchise history. Toronto has also won six consecutive postseason games against the Rangers -- the Jays were down 2-0 in last year's ALDS and won three straight to advance. The six consecutive wins against one postseason opponent are the most since the Tigers' run of six straight wins over the A's from 2006-12.

Toronto is also 4-0 this postseason (including the AL Wild Card Game), marking the first time the Blue Jays have won four consecutive playoff games.

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Martin on walk-off win to sweep ALDS

• Texas experienced another tough night at Rogers Centre, as it was eliminated from the postseason in Toronto for the second time in as many years. The Rangers are the third team in the Wild Card Era (1995-present) to be eliminated in the same city in back-to-back seasons, joining the 2013-14 Dodgers (eliminated in St. Louis) and the 2000-01 Mariners (eliminated in New York).

Edwin Encarnacion went 2-for-3 with a single, home run and three RBIs. He hit .417 (5-for-12) with two home runs and four RBIs in the series, and he now has three home runs in four games this postseason. Encarnacion's first-inning blast Sunday was his fourth postseason home run as a member of the Blue Jays, moving him into second place in franchise history (Jose Bautista and Joe Carter each with six).

• Blue Jays' title chase fueled by homers

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Encarnacion belts a two-run homer in 1st

• With his solo homer in the first inning, Russell Martin became the fourth player in Major League history to hit a postseason home run with four teams, having already done so with the Dodgers, Yankees and Pirates.

Martin's homer also made him the seventh Blue Jay to homer in the ALDS. Only four other teams have had seven players go deep in a first-round postseason series: the 2015 Cubs, '04 Astros, '02 A's and 1995 Yankees.

• The Blue Jays used the long ball to bury Texas all series, hitting two more homers in Game 3 to bring their total to eight in the ALDS. Toronto is the first team to hit eight homers in the first three games of a postseason series since the Astros tallied nine four home runs against the Cardinals in the first three contests of the 2004 NLCS.

• The Rangers lost a one-run game for just the 12th time in 2016. Texas went 36-11 in one-run contests during the regular season -- which was the best record in such games in Major League history.

• Texas' six-game postseason losing streak is the second longest in franchise history, behind nine consecutive losses from 1996-99.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyRsports

Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers

Statcast of the Day: Donaldson's daring dash

Blue Jays' third baseman speeds home from second to score ALDS-winning run
MLB.com

TORONTO -- You'll remember Josh Donaldson's hustle, scoring from second base on a grounder to shortstop, helping to secure the Toronto Blue Jays' spot in the American League Championship Series. History may not remember how important the hustle of Edwin Encarnacion and Russell Martin on the same play was in making Donaldson's play possible, but we should. Without them, Donaldson doesn't score that run.

Donaldson's heads-up baserunning play -- darting for home plate and safely sliding headfirst after second baseman Rougned Odor's errant throw to first on an attempt for an inning-ending double play -- gave the Blue Jays a walk-off 7-6 win in the 10th inning on Sunday night to complete a three-game AL Division Series sweep over the Texas Rangers. Game 1 of the ALCS against the Indians will be Friday at 8 p.m. ET at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The ALCS will be broadcast on TBS, as well as Sportsnet and RDS (French) in Canada.

View Full Game Coverage

TORONTO -- You'll remember Josh Donaldson's hustle, scoring from second base on a grounder to shortstop, helping to secure the Toronto Blue Jays' spot in the American League Championship Series. History may not remember how important the hustle of Edwin Encarnacion and Russell Martin on the same play was in making Donaldson's play possible, but we should. Without them, Donaldson doesn't score that run.

Donaldson's heads-up baserunning play -- darting for home plate and safely sliding headfirst after second baseman Rougned Odor's errant throw to first on an attempt for an inning-ending double play -- gave the Blue Jays a walk-off 7-6 win in the 10th inning on Sunday night to complete a three-game AL Division Series sweep over the Texas Rangers. Game 1 of the ALCS against the Indians will be Friday at 8 p.m. ET at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The ALCS will be broadcast on TBS, as well as Sportsnet and RDS (French) in Canada.

View Full Game Coverage

:: ALDS: Blue Jays vs. Rangers coverage ::

"It was great," said Encarnacion, whose hard slide into second base helped prevent Odor from making a strong throw. "You see Josh Donaldson, MVP player, to play the game the way he does. That's the reason why we win games."

He's not wrong, though perhaps Encarnacion should give himself a bit more credit in the hustle department. He made it from first to second in 3.55 seconds, which, according to Statcast™, beat his previous best (3.81) on a forceout or double-play ball this season. That wasn't quick enough to beat Elvis Andrus' feed to second base, but that hustle didn't go unrewarded, because he was right on top of Odor by the time the Texas second baseman released the ball.

Odor's throw was short and wide, and first baseman Mitch Moreland could not catch it cleanly, leaving a window for Donaldson to dash home when it bounced away. (It can be clearly seen on video that Donaldson had stopped at third and only bolted home when Moreland bobbled the throw.) Odor's throw traveled just 79.7 feet of the 90 it needed to as it bounced and then pulled Moreland off the first-base bag. The accuracy was far more the issue than the velocity, because at 74 mph, it was slightly above Odor's 72 mph average on throws to first during double play attempts. 

Tweet from @mike_petriello: Encarnacion's hustle mattered. His 3.55 first-to-second time was his best on a forceout or double play this year. (3.81 was previous best.) pic.twitter.com/U1BCRkUP8O

"I threw a little bit to the side," said Odor, who hit a big two-run homer for Texas in the fourth. "I pulled the ball a little bit, but I tried to do my best there. That's it."

At the time Odor unleashed his throw, Martin was 61.7 feet down the first-base line, or just about two-thirds of the way from home to first, making it fully understandable that Odor tried to complete the double play with a catcher running. Martin's hustle didn't go unnoticed either, as he got down the first-base line in 4.60 seconds, which was his sixth-fastest home-to-first time of the nearly 250 non-bunt situations tracked for him this year. 

The win stunned a Rangers team that entered the postseason with the best record in the AL, and it allowed Toronto to advance to the ALCS for the second consecutive year. The way in which they lost particularly stood out, since Texas had turned more double plays than anyone in baseball this year, and Toronto had grounded into the most double plays of any team in 2016.

Donaldson got things started in the 10th with a leadoff double off Rangers reliever Matt Bush, who had pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth. After Encarnacion drew a walk, Bush struck out Jose Bautista to bring up catcher Russell Martin.

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Donaldson doubles to lead off the 10th

For Donaldson, who played against Moreland in college and had a lot of respect for the infielder's arm, it was the opening he needed.

"For me, the deciding factor was once I saw the ball get away from him, I felt like I had to take a chance," Donaldson said. "And that situation in the game, if he ends up throwing me out, making a great play, you kind of have to tip your cap to him. But I'm banking on the fact that I'm going to make it more times than not, and it ended up working out for us tonight."

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Donaldson discusses his mad dash home

That kind of instinct, the aggressiveness Donaldson has been hailed for, showed up in a huge moment for the Blue Jays. The third baseman, who dealt with a right hip issue down the stretch, declined to elaborate on his physical status much after the series win.

Donaldson's dash home topped out at 19.5 mph, according to Statcast™, which was faster than any speed he clocked in during the last two weeks of the regular season, after he missed three games from Sept. 12-14 with his sore hip. 

"He did a great job reading the ball and he just took off," Toronto third-base coach Luis Rivera said of Donaldson, who topped out at 19.6 mph on his double to open the inning. "When you have that many people screaming, there's no way I can say, 'Go, go, go.' Or stay. I was just pointing to the bag saying, 'Watch the throw, watch the throw.' Then he watched the throw and scored. That was all him. I had nothing on that one."

Teammates immediately swarmed Donaldson at home plate. But moments later, the celebration was put on hold as the Rangers challenged if Encarnacion's slide on Odor was legal.

"It was like a double celebration," Martin said of the stop-and-go nature of the Blue Jays' celebration as they waited out the review. "No, we didn't win yet. Oh, yeah, we did, yeah."

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Blue Jays score winning run after review

For the Rangers, the challenges were a last-ditch effort to prolong the game and their season.

"The last play, [we] got the play we wanted, a double-play ball. Good feed to Odor. Just looked like he might have pulled the throw a little bit," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Mitch reached down to try to keep it in play, got away from him a little bit, and [he] was unable to recover and make a throw to home plate. And a heads-up play by Donaldson, who continued to run and he was safe.

"I could tell that Donaldson was safe at the plate, but I was a little blocked out at the play at second base and couldn't tell if there was any interference there at all. But wanted to make sure there was none. And hey, if there is, we're still playing."

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Banister discusses last play of the game

While the Rangers were waiting, the Blue Jays -- many of whom hadn't been watching Encarnacion's slide -- were in a state of limbo. Donaldson got flashbacks to several times earlier this year, including once against Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field, when Toronto was hurt by interference calls.

"I looked at Eddie, I said, 'Please tell me you had a good slide,'" Donaldson said of the play at second. " ... But fortunately, it was good. Eddie had a good slide right there. And we were able to win the game."

"That game-ending play, that's not a normal big league-type of ending to a game," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "You see it occasionally, because good baserunning is involved, guys busting it ... you put pressure on guys. But that's kind of rare. But a lot of times when things are going your way, that's the kind of things that happens."

Video: TEX@TOR Gm3: Gibbons discusses late-game decisions

Brittany Ghiroli has worked for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson

Four! Homer-happy Toronto tees off in Texas

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Blue Jays' bats have come alive in Texas, and as a result, Toronto is one win away from advancing to the American League Championship Series.

The Blue Jays homered four times to take a stranglehold over the AL Division Series with a 5-3 victory over the Rangers in Game 2 on Friday afternoon at Globe Life Park. Toronto now returns north of the border with a 2-0 lead in the series and a chance to close things out on Sunday night, thanks in large part to Texas going 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

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ARLINGTON -- The Blue Jays' bats have come alive in Texas, and as a result, Toronto is one win away from advancing to the American League Championship Series.

The Blue Jays homered four times to take a stranglehold over the AL Division Series with a 5-3 victory over the Rangers in Game 2 on Friday afternoon at Globe Life Park. Toronto now returns north of the border with a 2-0 lead in the series and a chance to close things out on Sunday night, thanks in large part to Texas going 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

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:: ALDS: Blue Jays vs. Rangers coverage ::

Troy Tulowitzki, Kevin Pillar, Ezequiel Carrera and Edwin Encarnacion all homered for the Blue Jays. All four home runs came off Yu Darvish, which set a career high for the Rangers right-hander and also marked the most Toronto has hit in one postseason game. Tulowitzki finished his day 2-for-4, and he is 5-for-9 with five RBIs in the first two games of this series.

"Home runs are always a good thing," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Some good at-bats, some unlikely guys. Carrera, he doesn't hit a lot of home runs. Kev can hit his share. I know one thing about Pillar, he doesn't necessarily hit a lot of them, but he hits some big ones ... and of course Eddie does that all the time."

Pulling fast ones: Blue Jays pounce on Yu's heat

The Rangers will turn to right-hander Colby Lewis in Game 3 as they look to keep their season alive, while the Blue Jays will counter with Aaron Sanchez, who led the AL with a 3.00 ERA during the regular season. In the 2-2-1 format during the Wild Card era (since 1995), teams that lost the first two games at home have gone 2-14, but Toronto came back from that deficit last year against Texas to advance to the ALCS.

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Banister on losing first two games

"We have to win," Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "There's no tomorrow. Not only that, we're trying to do what they did to us last year. Hopefully we can turn it around and do the same thing they did to us last year. We know we can do it. We just need to get it done in the field. There's no doubt we believe in this team. We've got to find a way."

Left-hander J.A. Happ picked up the victory for Toronto, but his outing was not as easy as the score made it seem. Texas had at least two baserunners in each of the first four innings of the game, but Happ managed to survive and pitch into the sixth. He was charged with one run on nine hits and a walk, while striking out five over five-plus innings.

Happ escapes jams to tally first postseason victory

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Happ escapes crucial jams in Game 2 win

Darvish looked electric on the mound early on, with a fastball that sat around 95 mph and nasty offspeed pitches that led to a trio of strikeouts early in the game. But he also made a few mistakes, and the Blue Jays were there to capitalize whenever he did. Darvish was charged with five runs on five hits and one walk, with four strikeouts over five innings.

"At the end of the day, we have to play better baseball," Rangers designated hitter Carlos Beltran said. "We have to pitch better and hit better. They have a good team. They have been able to swing the bats well and pitch well. We haven't. It's been a tough two days."

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Osuna K's Beltran to escape jam in 8th

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Power of Troy: Tulowitzki delivered the big blow with a bases-loaded triple in Game 1, and he was back to his old tricks the following day as well. In the second inning, Tulowitzki unloaded on a 2-0 count from Darvish and sent it over the wall in left-center field for a two-run shot. According to Statcast™, Tulowitzki's fourth career postseason home run was projected to travel 402 feet and left his bat at 105.4 mph. The no-doubter came on a 96.2-mph fastball, which was the hardest thrown pitch by Darvish that was sent out of the park this season.

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Tulowitzki rips 402-foot home run

"He's got good stuff. You see all those strikeouts," Tulowitzki said about Darvish. "He got behind 2-0, threw a fastball and I put a nice swing on it. It was nice to get on top of him early, especially on the road."

Tulo stays hot, homers off Darvish in second

Rangers' RISP problems: Texas was 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position. It's the third time in postseason history that a club has had 18 at-bats with runners in scoring position and two or fewer hits. The Rangers, trailing 5-3, started a potential rally in the ninth with a leadoff double by Beltre. But Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna struck out Rougned Odor, retired Jonathan Lucroy on a popup and got Mitch Moreland on a fly to center to end the game.

Osuna returns, locks down five-out save

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Osuna seals the Blue Jays' 5-3 victory

"We had a lot of opportunities," Moreland said. "It seemed like every inning, we had something going, but we couldn't get the big one or string many hits together."

Desmond doing his part to jump-start Rangers' offense

The hat trick: Toronto broke the game wide open in the fifth inning with three solo homers. Pillar got things started by tomahawking a fastball from Darvish that was 4.16 feet off the ground at the point of contact and sending it over the wall in left. There were only two home runs all year that were hit on higher pitches (Corey Dickerson's homer 4.22 feet off the ground on Sept. 11 was the highest). Carrera followed two batters later with a deep shot to right-center field that was projected by Statcast™ to travel 388 feet. Encarnacion then delivered the final shot of the inning with a homer to left that went a projected 357 feet.

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Blue Jays drill three home runs in 5th

"I feel like I've gotten good pitches to hit all series," Pillar said. "I haven't been able to get any hits. I just stayed aggressive. I was also in a good count too. I felt like I was going to go get a fastball and put a good swing on it."

Trio of solo blasts boosts Blue Jays in fifth frame

Desmond out at home: Ian Desmond doubled to lead off the seventh and went to third on Beltran's grounder. Beltre then hit a chopper to third baseman Josh Donaldson, who stayed back to field the ball. Desmond hesitated and then broke for home. Donaldson went home with the throw and Desmond was called out trying to slide under catcher Russell Martin's tag. The Rangers challenged the call, which stood after a replay review.

"If he charges it, I don't go," Desmond said. "But he stayed back and then made a gutsy play throwing home."

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Donaldson nabs Desmond at the plate

QUOTABLE
"I was in shock. I wasn't even able to enjoy the base hit." -- Carlos Gomez, on his eighth-inning line drive that hit Blue Jays pitcher Francisco Liriano in the back of the head. Liriano was taken to the hospital to be examined after the play

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Gomez lines RBI single off Liriano

Liriano struck by liner, taken to hospital

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Tulowitzki has 16 RBIs during his postseason career with the Blue Jays, which is tied for the third most in franchise history. He's hitting .375 with five extra-base hits and 12 RBIs in his past eight postseason games.

WHAT'S NEXT
Blue Jays: Sanchez pitches for Toronto as the ALDS resumes with Game 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday at Rogers Centre. Sanchez did not allow an earned run in 7 1/3 innings of relief over nine appearances in the postseason last year.

Rangers: Lewis is set to pitch for Texas. He is 4-1 with a 2.38 ERA in eight starts and one relief appearance in the postseason, and 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA in nine career starts against Toronto.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Happ escapes jams to get 1st postseason win

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Veteran lefty J.A. Happ certainly wasn't at his best during Game 2 of the American League Division Series on Friday afternoon, but as he has done so many times this year, he found a way to grind through and get the win.

Happ had two baserunners on base in each of the first four innings but managed to pitch into the sixth having allowed just one run. That was enough to preserve Toronto's early lead, help secure a 5-3 victory over Texas and take a 2-0 lead in the series.

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ARLINGTON -- Veteran lefty J.A. Happ certainly wasn't at his best during Game 2 of the American League Division Series on Friday afternoon, but as he has done so many times this year, he found a way to grind through and get the win.

Happ had two baserunners on base in each of the first four innings but managed to pitch into the sixth having allowed just one run. That was enough to preserve Toronto's early lead, help secure a 5-3 victory over Texas and take a 2-0 lead in the series.

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In previous years, this was the type of outing that might have gotten away from Happ, but not in 2016. He finished the season ranked second in the AL with 20 wins for a reason, and when the bats supported him early, he was there to back them up.

:: ALDS: Blue Jays vs. Rangers coverage ::

"You go into a game knowing that at some point they're going to get their hits," Happ said. "Some of them are hard, some are soft. I think the key was keeping the ball in the ballpark. It was a battle. It seemed like a long five innings for me, but I just tried to focus with guys on base, continue to try to execute, and for the most part, we were able to get out of some of those situation."

The Blue Jays now head back to Toronto with a commanding lead in the best-of-five series. and the Rangers' lack of execution with runners in scoring position is one of the main reasons why. Texas went 2-for-18 in those situations on Friday afternoon, including 1-for-6 during the first four innings.

In the first inning, the Rangers put a pair of runners on base for Rougned Odor, who grounded out to first base. In the second, Nomar Mazara and Carlos Gomez each struck out looking to strand two more baserunners. In the third, Jonathan Lucroy grounded out with two men on. On and on it went. Whenever Happ needed to make a big pitch, he found a way to get the job done.

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Happ discusses outing, win over Rangers

The lone real blemish of the afternoon came in the fourth inning, on Ian Desmond's single to center. That scored a run, but it was the only one Happ would allow as he scattered nine hits and walked one on his way to the victory.

"We had a lot of opportunities," Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "We had a lot of them. Almost every inning, we had a couple of guys on base, and we couldn't find a way to get them in. We had a couple of hits, but not enough. I mean, that's what you want; you want to be in those situations, but what we want to do is make sure you get those runs in."

Happ had to wait a long time between postseason appearances. His Pirates team lost last year's National League Wild Card Game, but Happ didn't participate, and he hadn't pitched in the postseason since 2009, with the Phillies.

The victory on Friday was the first of his postseason career. He also became the first pitcher since John Lackey in Game 6 of the 2013 World Series to go five or more innings allowing one run or fewer and nine or more hits.

"I didn't think he was as sharp as we normally see him, but you know, they battle you," manager John Gibbons said. "They have a tough lineup, and they battled him pretty good. They were getting a lot of hits. He's not a guy that necessarily gives up a lot of hits. That's a red flag. ... [But] he battled himself out of key innings, got some big strikeouts and big outs, no doubt."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, J.A. Happ

Did you know? Key facts from Blue Jays-Rangers Game 2

MLB.com

In less than 24 hours, the Blue Jays and Rangers completed the first two games of their best-of-five American League Division Series, with Toronto taking control after a 5-3 victory in Game 2 on Friday afternoon.

The Blue Jays will carry a 2-0 series lead north of the border, with Game 3 set to go on Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. ET at Rogers Centre on TBS (United States) and Sportsnet (Canada). These two teams have built quite the rivalry after last year's ALDS went the distance. Although Game 1 finished in a blowout, Game 2 provided its own theatrics with an intriguing finish.

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In less than 24 hours, the Blue Jays and Rangers completed the first two games of their best-of-five American League Division Series, with Toronto taking control after a 5-3 victory in Game 2 on Friday afternoon.

The Blue Jays will carry a 2-0 series lead north of the border, with Game 3 set to go on Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. ET at Rogers Centre on TBS (United States) and Sportsnet (Canada). These two teams have built quite the rivalry after last year's ALDS went the distance. Although Game 1 finished in a blowout, Game 2 provided its own theatrics with an intriguing finish.

View Full Game Coverage

:: ALDS: Blue Jays vs. Rangers coverage ::

Here's a look at 10 interesting facts from Game 2:

• The script of the series is similar to last year's ALDS matchup between the two teams, when Texas won the first two games at Rogers Centre before Toronto won three straight. Teams winning the first two games in a best-of-five postseason series have gone on to win the series 63 of 72 times (87.5 percent). In Division Series with the current 2-2-1 format, teams that won the first two games on the road are 14-2.

• Friday's outing was a rough one for Rangers starter Yu Darvish, who allowed four home runs for the first time in his career. Darvish also became the first player in Rangers postseason history to allow four homers in a game, and he tied the MLB record for home runs allowed in a postseason game.

• Texas has now lost five straight ALDS games against Toronto, getting outscored 34-12 in that span. The Rangers also fell to 1-11 in ALDS games at home.

• Texas had plenty of opportunities to get back into the game, but left a postseason-franchise-record 13 men on base.

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Osuna K's Beltran to escape jam in 8th

• On the flip side, Toronto became the first team to hit four home runs in a postseason game on the road since the Cardinals accomplished the feat in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series against the Rangers. The Blue Jays also hit four home runs in a postseason game for the first time in franchise history.

Trio of solo blasts boosts Blue Jays in 5th frame

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Blue Jays drill three home runs in 5th

• Toronto accomplished a rare feat by taking the first two games of a postseason series for just the third time in franchise history. The Blue Jays opened with two consecutive victories in the 1985 AL Championship Series against the Royals and took the first two on the road in the 1993 ALCS against the White Sox.

Kevin Pillar's fifth-inning home run was surrounded by all kinds of interesting nuggets. According to Statcast™, the pitch Pillar homered on was 4.16 feet off the ground at its point of contact. Only two homers all year were hit on higher pitches. Pillar also snapped a personal streak of 317 plate appearances without leaving the yard.

Troy Tulowitzki hasn't been with the Blue Jays long, but he's already made his presence felt. Tulowitzki's two-run home run to open the scoring gave him 16 postseason RBIs with Toronto, tying him for third on the team's all-time list with Jose Bautista. Only Joe Carter (20) and Roberto Alomar (18) have more.

Tulo stays hot, homers off Darvish in second

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Tulowitzki rips 402-foot home run

Ezequiel Carrera, who batted leadoff after Devon Travis was scratched late, notched Toronto's second postseason home run in franchise history out of the No. 1 spot in the order with his fifth-inning solo shot. Lloyd Moseby accomplished the feat in Game 5 of the 1989 ALCS against the A's.

• Including the postseason, the Blue Jays have gone 25-8 in games started by J.A. Happ this year. That includes wins in 10 of Happ's past 11 road starts.

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Happ escapes crucial jams in Game 2 win

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers

Osuna returns, locks down five-out save

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna returned to the mound on Friday afternoon, recording five outs and the save in the 5-3 Game 2 win over the Rangers in the American League Division Series.

Osuna, who abruptly exited Tuesday's AL Wild Card Game against Baltimore in the top of the 10th inning, said later that he felt as though something was stretched in his right shoulder. Manager John Gibbons confirmed after Game 1's 10-1 win that Osuna wouldn't have been available on Thursday.

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ARLINGTON -- Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna returned to the mound on Friday afternoon, recording five outs and the save in the 5-3 Game 2 win over the Rangers in the American League Division Series.

Osuna, who abruptly exited Tuesday's AL Wild Card Game against Baltimore in the top of the 10th inning, said later that he felt as though something was stretched in his right shoulder. Manager John Gibbons confirmed after Game 1's 10-1 win that Osuna wouldn't have been available on Thursday.

View Full Game Coverage

:: ALDS: Blue Jays vs. Rangers coverage ::

"I was feeling pretty good today," Osuna said after the Blue Jays positioned themselves one game away from the series sweep. "I had the meeting with Gibby before the game, and I told him I was good today if he needed me."

Osuna -- who was already warming up -- was called on earlier than anticipated after a scary incident involving lefty Francisco Liriano, who was hit in the head with Carlos Gomez's liner. Osuna went on to throw 31 pitches to close out the game.

"Really, that wasn't ideal. Wanted him to go one inning," said Gibbons. "But I brought in Osuna [and said], 'Hey, you've got to put a stop to this, at least keep the lead, because it goes the other way, and the game's over.' And it was starting to go that way."

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Gibbons on Osuna's shutdown relief

With runners on first and third, Osuna got Ian Desmond to ground out, then he struck out Carlos Beltran to end the eighth.

He also pitched around Adrian Beltre's leadoff double in the ninth with no issues, bringing a certain measure of relief.

"Oh, absolutely. That brings me a lot of confidence, I didn't feel any pain or anything," Osuna said. "Looking forward to the next game."

Video: TOR@TEX Gm2: Osuna K's Beltran to escape jam in 8th

Osuna, who has converted each of his first two career postseason save chances, went 4-3 with a 2.68 ERA with 36 saves in his second full Major League season.

Brittany Ghiroli has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Roberto Osuna

Pulling fast ones: Jays pounce on Yu's heat

Rangers' Darvish serves up career-high 4 homers, 3 in fifth, after falling behind and relying on fastball
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Four fastballs, four home runs. For Yu Darvish, the damage was swift. And for his Rangers, those four blasts were too much to overcome as the Blue Jays held on for a 5-3 win in Friday afternoon's Game 2 of the American League Division Series and now head to Toronto with a firm 2-0 grip on the best-of-five battle.

Darvish had allowed three home runs in a game only twice in his Major League career, but the Blue Jays equaled that feat in the fifth inning alone on a damp afternoon at Globe Life Park, whe