Toronto becomes third team to win DS after losing first 2 games at home
By Roger Schlueter
Here are five interesting items from the American League Division Series on Wenesday ...
• At Rogers Centre for a winner-take-all Game 5, the Blue Jays doubled up the Rangers by a score of 6-3 and advanced to the AL Championship Series. Toronto became the third team to win a best-of-five series after losing the first two games at home. The Blue Jays joined the 2001 Yankees, who lost the first two games of the ALDS to the Athletics, and the 2012 Giants, who dropped the first two in their National League Division Series against the Reds. In the ALCS, the Blue Jays will play the Royals, who defeated the visiting Astros, 7-2, in their own win-or-go-home Game 5. With the Blue Jays and Royals taking these series finales, the home team has gone 50-48 all-time in winner-take-all contests. The breakdown by round: World Series (19-18) League Championship Series (16-9), Division Series (13-15) and Wild Card Game (2-6).
• The Blue Jays and Rangers were tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh, when Jose Bautista connected for a three-run home run. The long ball represented the 11th go-ahead postseason home run to come in the seventh inning or later of a winner-take-all contest, and the first since the Cardinals' Yadier Molina in Game 7 of the 2006 NL Championship Series. Bautista had a four-RBI line, with the first run driven in coming on a double in the third. He was the 10th player to have a four-RBI effort with at least two extra-base hits in a winner-take-all game. His was the third to come in an ALDS, following efforts from Cleveland's Jim Thome and Boston's Troy O'Leary in Game 5 in 1999. O'Leary's Red Sox won that game, 12-8.
• Roberto Osuna, 20, retired all five batters he faced -- four by strikeout -- to record the save for Toronto. Prior to this game, there had been 36 saves recorded in a winner-take-all contest (four came before the save became an official stat in 1969, and thus are retroactively awarded). Osuna, at 20 years and 249 days old, is by far the youngest of the group. The previous youngest had been David Price, who was 23 years and 54 days old for his Game 7 save for the Rays in the 2008 ALCS. Osuna was the 15th of the 37 to record at least five outs. Madison Bumgarner had the most, with his 15-out save in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series. Osuna's four strikeouts tied Bumgarner for the most.
• In Kansas City, Johnny Cueto surrendered two hits and two runs -- both coming in the second inning on an infield single and a home run -- over eight innings and picked up the win. It was the first win in the postseason for Cueto, who entered Wednesday with a lifetime mark of 0-2 with a 5.52 ERA in four playoff starts. Of the 196 pitchers to make a start in a winner-take-all contest, 49 of them went at least eight innings. Of those 49, Cueto joined Justin Verlander (Game 5, 2013 ALDS) as just the second to allow two hits or fewer.
• Lorenzo Cain had a single and a walk and scored two runs in the Royals' victory. Cain has hit safely in nine straight postseason games -- tied for the second-longest postseason streak for the Royals. Amos Otis had a hit in 11 straight, while Freddie Patek, George Brett and Alcides Escobar all hit safely in nine in a row. Eric Hosmer, meanwhile, drove in the Royals' first run Wednesday, giving him 17 career postseason RBIs. Those 17 are the second most in team history, one ahead of Frank White's total. Hosmer trails only Brett, who drove in 23 runs.
Roger Schlueter is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.