Blue Jays sweep Rangers, Nationals even series with Dodgers

Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson, left, scores on a throwing error from Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor as Texas Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy gathers up the ball during tenth inning American League Division Series action, in Toronto on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — Rougned Odor sidestepped another slide at second base against the Blue Jays and again threw the ball away.

In May, the play started a fight.

This time, it ended one.

Josh Donaldson raced home from second base after Odor bounced a double-play relay in the 10th inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 7-6 to sweep their AL Division Series on Sunday night.

Texas led the American League with 95 wins but lost three straight to Toronto for a second straight ALDS exit.

“It hurts because we know we had a good team to accomplish what we wanted to do,” Rangers slugger Adrian Beltre said.

Beltre hit .182 with no homers and no RBIs as the Rangers were swept out of the postseason for the first time since back-to-back ALDS losses to the New York Yankees in 1998 and 1999.

Donaldson, the reigning AL MVP, led off the 10th with a double into the right-center field gap, and then Matt Bush intentionally walked Edwin Encarnacion.

After Jose Bautista struck out, Russell Martin hit a grounder to shortstop Elvis Andrus, who tried to start a double play with a feed to second base. After making the turn, second baseman Odor short-hopped his throw to first baseman Mitch Moreland and the ball skipped away, allowing Donaldson to sprint home and beat Moreland’s throw with a dive across the plate.

“Got the play we wanted,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “Good feed to Odor, just looked like he might have pulled the throw a little.”

Donaldson said he felt compelled to try and score when he saw the ball get away from Moreland.

“I was at third base when the throw was being made,” Donaldson said. “Once I saw (Moreland) miss the pick, I felt like I had to take a chance right there.”

Toronto’s bench emptied and swarmed around Donaldson near home plate, while Bush kneeled in the infield and watched the celebration. The umpires huddled to review the play at second base, but after a brief delay, the crowd of 49,555 went wild when crew chief Joe West signaled the run counted.

“It’s a hard way to lose a game,” Andrus said. “It doesn’t feel good at all but we gave everything we had.”

Bautista’s homer and emphatic bat flip in Game 5 was the lasting image from Toronto’s ALDS win over the Rangers last season. On May 15, Odor famously punched Bautista following a hard slide at second to spark a brawl in Texas, and the broadcast of Sunday’s game showed a fan-made sign declaring “I would rather get punched in May than get knocked out in October.”

Bush had thrown two scoreless innings in relief prior to beginning the 10th. It was the longest career outing for the 30-year-old rookie.

Donaldson had two doubles among his three hits and is batting .538 through four postseason games, all wins for the Blue Jays, who had to beat Baltimore in a wild-card game to get to the ALDS.

Toronto is headed back to the AL Championship Series after beating Texas in an ALDS for a second straight year and will face the winner of the Cleveland-Boston series. The Indians lead 2-0, with Game 3 scheduled for Monday following a postponement Sunday.

Banister was gracious in a defeat he acknowledged was “disappointing.”

“I tip my hat to (Toronto),” he said. “They played a tremendous series.”

Closer Roberto Osuna threw two perfect innings to get the win. His appearance capped 4 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball by Toronto’s bullpen after starter Aaron Sanchez allowed six runs.

Encarnacion had a two-run homer and Martin a solo shot in the first inning for Toronto, which swept a postseason series for the first time.

“Unfortunately we didn’t click at the right time,” Andrus said. “They hit the ball well and never let us feel comfortable.”

Andrus hit a solo homer in the third and Odor added a two-run shot in the fourth. They were the only two homers of the series for Texas.

“We got cold at the worst moment,” Beltre said

Moreland gave Texas a 6-5 lead with a two-run double off Joe Biagini in the sixth, but Toronto responded in the bottom half when Troy Tulowitzki scored on Jonathan Lucroy’s bases-loaded passed ball.

Colby Lewis allowed five runs in two innings for Texas.

“He couldn’t get in a rhythm and get his pitches going,” Banister said.

The Rangers hadn’t lost on a game-ending play since June 30 against the Yankees.


Texas has lost six straight postseason games, all to Toronto. The Rangers have lost nine of their past 11 postseason games, including the final two games of the 2011 World Series.


Blue Jays: 2B Devon Travis (right knee) sat out his second straight game but was available off the bench. Travis, who was scratched from the lineup Friday, had a cortisone shot Saturday.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Dodgers leave bases loaded, lose Game 2 of NLDS to Nationals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Putting guys on base was easy for the Los Angeles Dodgers, especially early in the game. Getting them home, that was the problem.

So after leaving ’em loaded three times and missing a chance to take a commanding lead over Washington in the NL Division Series, the Dodgers headed home tied at 1-all after a 5-2 loss Sunday.

Overall, LA went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position — 0 for 5 with the bases loaded — and stranded 12. That gave the Dodgers an empty feeling going back to Chavez Ravine for Game 3 on Monday afternoon.

“Whether it’s a combination of their guys making good pitches or us just not getting the job done, that changes the whole game,” said right fielder Josh Reddick, whose RBI single was that one hit with runners in scoring position. “For the guys, I’m sure they’re beating themselves up.”

Washington starter Tanner Roark looked very beatable, as LA got seven hits off him, including rookie shortstop Corey Seager’s first-inning home run that was his second in as many games.

The Dodgers left the bases loaded in the second inning and again in the third. The frustrating trend was made worse when backup Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton hit a three-run homer off Rich Hill in the fourth for a 3-2 lead.

Hill tried to say the loss falls “solely” on him, but there was no one in the visiting clubhouse who agreed with that sentiment.

Hill did have a chance at the plate. He struck out with three runners on in the second and then Chase Utley grounded out.

Yasmani Grandal grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the third. In the fifth, again with the bases loaded, Grandal struck out and pinch hitter Howie Kendrick lined out to left.

Manager Dave Roberts said his team “stressed” Roark, who lasted only 4 1/3 innings, but the Dodgers then didn’t get a hit off the Nationals’ bullpen until there was one out in the ninth.

“We had the bases loaded, so we had some opportunities, just didn’t capitalize,” Roberts said.

Added Seager: “You did what you were looking for in getting the starter out early. Unfortunately we missed that big hit against the bullpen.”

Stranding 11 runners against Roark had the Dodgers wondering what could have been. But splitting the first two games of a series on the road gave them something of a silver lining, especially after the rain-postponed Game 2 made the wait for Game 3 at Dodger Stadium even shorter.

“If you’ve got to win two out of three, you want to have most of those games at home, and we do,” first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said.


Hill hung his head after the loss, regretting a hanging curveball he left up to Lobaton on the homer and two inside pitches that hit Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa. The 36-year-old lefty had seven strikeouts but came out after 4 1/3 innings and was hard on himself for not executing pitches how he wanted.

“I believe we’re tied in the series now because I didn’t execute,” Hill said. “For me it’s extremely disappointing.”


With his second home run of the series, Seager tied Jim Gilliam for the most home runs in a postseason for a Dodgers rookie and joined Pee Wee Reese as the only Dodgers shortstops with multiple postseason home runs. On Friday, he went deep off Washington ace Max Scherzer.

Asked to explain his success early in games, Seager said: “I don’t know. Luck, whatever it is.”


Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy went 3 for 3 with 2 RBIs, a walk and a run scored, drawing “M-V-P” chants from the sellout crowd of 43,826. Murphy tormented LA for the second straight October after helping the New York Mets advance past the Dodgers a year ago.

“Ever since last year he just seems to be the guy that comes up in the clutch,” Reddick said. “It shows what he can do this year, and playoff-wise it’s something special.”


In Game 3, the Dodgers will have RHP Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA) on the mound against Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (11-11, 4.57. The Nationals are hoping Gonzalez can take advantage of the Dodgers’ worst-in-the-majors batting average against left-handed pitchers. Maeda led LA pitchers in wins, innings (175 2/3), strikeouts (179) and starts (32).


AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed to this report.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.