Former Tiger leads Blue Jays to Championship Series
Toronto Blue Jays Third Baseman, and former Auburn Tiger Josh Donaldson (Photo: Associated Press/Frank Gunn)
The Toronto Blue Jays are moving on to the American League Championship Series for the second consecutive season, after sweeping the Texas Rangers in the divisional round. Why is that relevant? A former Auburn Tiger played a big role in the series clinching game on Sunday night. Blue Jays third baseman, Josh Donaldson, was standing on second base when catcher Russell Martin stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning. Martin hit a grounder to Rangers shortstop, Elvis Andrus, who then tossed it to second base for one out. The second baseman, Rougned Odor, then rocketed the ball to Mitch Moreland at first. However, the throw was low, and Donaldson took advantage. Donaldson’s head first slide into home plate beat Moreland’s throw and propelled the Blue Jays to a 7-6 win, and a sweep in the American League Divisional Series. “I was able to see the throw go low, and him (Moreland) making the attempt for the pick.” Donaldson told TBS following the game, “Once I had the moment, I had to go.” The walk-off will certainly be one of the most memorable highlights from this season’s Major League Baseball postseason, but Donaldson was on fire from the very first pitch. He ended the night 3-for-5 at the plate, with two doubles and a RBI. However, his most outstanding attribute on Sunday night was his defensive play. The Mobile native made great plays all game long, with his most impressive one coming in the seventh inning. Donaldson charged a slow-rolling ground ball that came off the bat of Rangers left fielder Carlos Gomez and threw him out with less than a half-second to spare. So far this postseason, Donaldson is batting .500 (9-18), with 5 doubles, and 3 RBI in three games for the Toronto Blue Jays. Donaldson is one of three former Tigers to have made the postseason roster for their respective teams. Catcher David Ross for the Chicago Cubs, and left-handed pitcher Grant Dayton of the Los Angeles Dodgers are the other two.