Donaldson continues to carry Blue Jays

Donaldson continues to carry Blue Jays

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Blue Jays might be struggling, but it's certainly not the fault of Josh Donaldson, who has done everything possible to put the team on his back for the past two weeks.

Donaldson is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now, and he was up to his old tricks on Sunday afternoon.

His solo homer in the top of the seventh inning put the Blue Jays in front by one, but like too many games this season the lead slipped away and ended as a 6-5 loss to the Twins.

The 29-year-old Donaldson has six homers over his last six games and he finished with 10 in May. The timing of those home runs has been even more impressive with six of his 15 shots this season coming in the seventh inning or later.

"I'll tell you what, he has been amazing," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's got that knack and that's why he's an elite player. That's not easy to do, consistently like he has been doing. Thank God we've got him."

Donaldson sizzling for Blue Jays

Donaldson entered play on Sunday afternoon ranked first in the American League with 28 extra-base hits. He was also tied for first with (38 RBIs), second in slugging (.596), fourth in hits (62), and fifth in OPS (.967).

The 2014 All-Star has been everything the Blue Jays could have hoped for and more. During the last week alone, Donaldson hit a pair of crucial ninth-inning homers against the White Sox and nearly became the hero again on Sunday afternoon.

The problem for Donaldson is that it's hard to take satisfaction in those numbers when everything else has been going so poorly with the team. Toronto likely should have swept a three-game series in Minnesota, but it lost Saturday's game after hitting 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position before following up with the blown lead late Sunday afternoon.

Donaldson doesn't want to spend too much time talking about himself during those low moments, but he also tried to insist that even though the club is 3-12 in one-run games this season that almost every loss is the same. It's about keeping an even-keel kind of approach.

"At the end of the day a loss is a loss," Donaldson said. "Whether it's one or 10 runs. I feel like right now we're doing a pretty good job of being competitive and we're going to go out there and start winning more games."

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.