Toronto Blue Jays: Five great games from the past five seasons

Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Blue Jays
Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays is congratulated by Troy Tulowitzki #2 after scoring the game-winning run in the tenth inning during MLB game action against the Texas Rangers in game three of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

3. The Donaldson Dash – Game 3 of 2016 ALDS

Texas Rangers at Blue Jays – Oct. 9, 2016 – 7-6 Blue Jays F/10

After taking a 2-0 series lead, and in the process, outscoring the Texas Rangers 15-4 in their home ballpark, the Blue Jays were feeling pretty good coming into game three.

So good, in fact, that a little early adversity didn’t seem to have the slightest effect. Aaron Sanchez yielded a run in the top of the first, but Edwin Encarnacion cashed himself and Ezequiel Carrera with a two-run shot in the bottom half, and Russell Martin followed suit, giving the Jays a 3-1 lead.

Rangers starter Colby Lewis would only last one more inning, in what would amount to be the final game of his career. A subplot was the initial encounter between Rangers 2B Rougned Odor and the Rogers Centre faithful.

Game 3 marked the first time Odor had ventured to Toronto since delivering a haymaker to Jose Bautista in Arlington during the regular season. Odor received a standing boo each time he came to the plate, but he shut the fans up in the fourth when he took Aaron Sanchez deep, making the score 5-4 in favour of the home team.

The Rangers would take the lead in the sixth, as Mitch Moreland doubled off of Joe Biagini to give Texas a 6-5 advantage. The Jays would level in the bottom half on a passed ball, and the score remained tied until the tenth frame. With reliever Matt Bush in for his third inning of work, Josh Donaldson led the home side of the tenth off with a double.

A free pass was issued to Edwin Encarnacion, and after a Bautista strikeout quieted the crowd, Russell Martin dug in. He slapped the ball towards SS Elvis Andrus, who flipped to Odor to get the out at second. In what has officially been scored a throwing error on Odor, the Venezuelan squared and threw in the direction of 1B Mitch Moreland, but failed to hit his target.

Donaldson didn’t hesitate. Moreland’s last-ditch heave to the plate was too late, and out of the cloud of chalk dust emerged Donaldson, ready to lead his team to the ALCS for a second straight year. This game, as well as the next two contests listed, are now free to watch on YouTube, thanks to MLB’s infinite compassion.