Hail to the MVP: Donaldson fuels rally

Bases-clearing triple pads third baseman's #ASGWorthy case

Hail to the MVP: Donaldson fuels rally

DENVER -- Josh Donaldson's nickname is the The Bringer of Rain, but on Tuesday night at Coors Field, he might as well have been called The Bringer of Hail.

Toronto's game against Colorado was delayed by two hours and 41 minutes because of inclement weather that included a hailstorm. When play finally got under way, at 9:21 p.m. local time, Donaldson played a key role in the Blue Jays' 14-9 victory over the Rockies.

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The Blue Jays trailed, 4-1, entering the fourth inning -- until a six-run frame changed everything. Donaldson's three-run double off the wall in right field was one of the major reasons why, as he capped another impressive night at the plate.

"Josh is a complete hitter, he's not just trying to hook everything," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Donaldson, who went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a walk. "He understands where he's playing and knows he just has to get the ball airborne. Got a nice little bounce off the wall. Big play."

Donaldson might not be getting the same type of attention he did a year ago when he was well on his way to winning the American League MVP and led baseball in voting for the 2015 All-Star Game, but it's not because of his performance.

The 30-year-old has hit safely in 18 of his last 19 games while batting .419 (31-for-74) over that span. During that time, he has 13 extra-base hits, 18 RBIs and 12 walks, helping to pick up some of the offensive production Toronto lost when Jose Bautista went on the disabled list.

In June, Donaldson ranks first in the AL with a .490 on-base percentage, four triples and 54 times on base, and he's second with 21 walks. It's easy to overlook his performance when Toronto scores 14 runs, but then again, that's what this lineup is all about when things are going well.

"We knew coming in, even if you're down, to not be like, 'Ah, we're out of it,'" Troy Tulowitzki said, in reference to hitter-friendly Coors Field. "We had some big innings, and luckily, we had enough to hang on."

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Donaldson picked a good time to come through with his game-changing triple. Toronto was threatening with the bases loaded in a 4-2 ballgame when Donaldson put the Blue Jays in front with the shot to right.

The ball bounced high off the wall and ricocheted back toward the infield. It went so far that second baseman Cristhian Adames had to pick it up, and by then, it was too late for Colorado. All three runs scored as Donaldson ended up with his fifth triple of the season, which is a career high.

Toronto scored in every inning but the first and second. As it turned out, the six-run fourth was just the beginning.

"We have a good offense," Gibbons said. "We got off to a slow start ... but little by little, it's turning around. We can strike quick."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.