Donaldson's walk-off HR caps historic day in Jays' win
By Gregor Chisholm and Jamie Ross
TORONTO -- Josh Donaldson stole the show on Tuesday night by going 4-for-4 with a pair of homers and five runs scored to lead the Blue Jays to a 10-9 victory over the White Sox at Rogers Centre.
Donaldson's historic night was capped in dramatic fashion by hitting a three-run homer off David Robertson in the bottom of the ninth inning. He became the first player in Toronto franchise history to have at least four hits, four RBIs and four runs scored in the same game.
Donaldson came to the plate with runners on second and third and nobody out before launching a 1-1 fastball from Robertson over the wall in right field. It was Donaldson's second home run of the game, his third in the last two days and 12th of the season.
"After I swung for the fastball, I was kind of sitting curveball a little bit, but my eyes had already seen two heaters right there and I was just able to make the adjustment real quick and was fortunate enough to hit it out," Donaldson said.
Robertson entered the game with a sparkling 0.98 ERA and nine saves in 10 opportunities. He got into trouble immediately in the ninth when Josh Thole singled and then advanced to third on a double by Jose Reyes. Donaldson followed with the three-run shot that traveled 376 feet and left his bat at 103 mph as tracked by Statcast™.
Starting pitchers John Danks and R.A. Dickey didn't factor into the decision for either side. Chicago's Danks was charged with six runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings. It was an equally rough night for Dickey, who allowed five runs on eight hits and two walks over five innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Walk it off: Donaldson has developed a reputation of having a flare for the dramatic and that was certainly the case Tuesday night. The shot to right field marked the fifth walk-off homer of Donaldson's career and his second in a Blue Jays uniform. His other walk-off home run this season came on April 18 against the Braves.
Blue Jays' bullpen issues resurface: Toronto's bullpen has been an issue all season long and the lack of quality innings almost cost the club again on Tuesday night. The Blue Jays carried a 7-6 lead into the top of the eighth inning, but right-hander Liam Hendriks wasn't able to close the door. The right-hander allowed three runs on five hits before he was eventually pulled with two outs. It was the Blue Jays' eighth blown save of the year and their fourth this month.
Abreu comes up big: Abreu launched a three-run shot in the fifth to reinstate a White Sox lead. The Cuban crusher sent his eighth homer of the season over the wall in left field, bringing around Adam Eaton and Melky Cabrera. It was Abreu's third homer in six career at-bats against Dickey. He'd later beat out a key grounder on a double play attempt that scored Eaton from third to break a 7-7 tie in the top of the eighth inning. More >
Danks balks on Bautista double: Danks attempted a quick pitch and was called for a balk in the third inning, but completed his delivery anyway as Jose Bautista hit a ground-rule double over the wall in center field to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 lead. Eaton misplayed the deep fly ball, which dropped before hopping over the wall to score a pair of runs. More >
"Lesson learned." -- Danks, on balking after a quick-pitch in the third inning.
"I think that's the coolest part of it. All of your boys are sitting at home plate, the crowd going crazy, everybody's very exuberant because we just won the game. It's very exciting." -- Donaldson, on getting swarmed by his teammates after hitting the walk-off homer.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Blue Jays' success against Danks was almost predictable considering Toronto entered the game with a .311 average against left-handed pitching, which was the top mark in the Major Leagues this season. Kansas City was second at .296.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons lost his challenge in the top of the sixth inning when Cabrera grounded into a fielders choice. Toronto had been hoping for an inning ending double play, but first-base umpire Jordan Baker ruled Cabrera safe. The play went to review, but after a brief delay, the call on the field was confirmed.
Abreu beat out a double play that ended up swinging the game in favor of the White Sox, but the safe call was hinged on a replay review. The White Sox slugger's grounder to second was turned by the Blue Jays' middle infield, and it appeared they'd doubled up Abreu to end the inning and the threat. However, after a one-minute, one-second review, the call was overturned, allowing Eaton to score from third to break a 7-7 tie in the top of the eighth inning.
White Sox: Jeff Samardzija takes his four-game unbeaten streak to the mound on Wednesday afternoon at 12:37 p.m. ET/11:37 a.m. CT as the White Sox wrap up a three-game series against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The White Sox right-hander hasn't lost since April 29. Samardzija ( 4-2, 2.28 ERA) has pitched eight innings in each of his last two starts, most recently in a nine-strikeout, two-run win over the Twins.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Marco Estrada will take the mound as the Blue Jays close out their series finale with the White Sox. Estrada is coming off his longest outing of the season which saw him toss seven innings in a 4-3 loss to the Mariners. This is will be the first time Estrada has faced the White Sox in his career.
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and listen to his podcast. Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.