Did you know? Key facts from Rangers-Blue Jays Game 3
By Matt Kelly and Manny Randhawa
It was another unforgettable night in Toronto, as the Blue Jays enjoyed another dramatic walk-off win in the postseason in their 7-6 triumph over the Rangers in 10 innings on Sunday night. The victory clinched a sweep for Toronto in the American League Division Series, sending the Blue Jays to their second consecutive AL Championship Series to face the Indians for a shot at the 2016 World Series.
Toronto will play Game 1 at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Friday night at 8 p.m. ET. The ALCS will be broadcast on TBS, as well as Sportsnet and RDS (in French) in Canada.
• Sunday's game was the seventh contest in postseason history to end on a play that saw the batter reach on an error, but it was the first to end a series. The last came in Game 3 of the 2014 National League Championship Series, when the Giants' Gregor Blanco reached on a throwing error by the Cardinals' Randy Choate, and Brandon Crawford came around to score.
• The Blue Jays' win marked the 32nd time a postseason series had ended on a walk-off play. Toronto has prevailed in the past two, including this year's AL Wild Card Game against the Orioles, becoming just the second team in history to clinch on walk-off plays twice in the same postseason. The other? The 2001 D-backs prevailed with a walk-off in Game 5 of the NLDS and then ended that year's World Series on Luis Gonzalez's walk-off single off the Yankees' Mariano Rivera. Each of those wins by Arizona came in the bottom of the ninth, however, so the Blue Jays are the only team to clinch twice on walk-offs in extra innings.
This is also the second time the Blue Jays have enjoyed two extra-inning wins in the same postseason. In 1992, Toronto defeated Oakland, 7-6, in 11 innings on the road in Game 4 of the ALCS and then defeated Atlanta, 4-3, also in 11 innings, to win Game 6 of the World Series and clinch its first World Series championship.
• The game's final play carried an interesting note, as Texas had completed the most double plays (190) of any team this season, and Toronto had hit into the most double plays (153).
• By winning all three games against Texas, the Blue Jays completed a postseason sweep for the first time in franchise history. Toronto has also won six consecutive postseason games against the Rangers -- the Jays were down 2-0 in last year's ALDS and won three straight to advance. The six consecutive wins against one postseason opponent are the most since the Tigers' run of six straight wins over the A's from 2006-12.
Toronto is also 4-0 this postseason (including the AL Wild Card Game), marking the first time the Blue Jays have won four consecutive playoff games.
• Texas experienced another tough night at Rogers Centre, as it was eliminated from the postseason in Toronto for the second time in as many years. The Rangers are the third team in the Wild Card Era (1995-present) to be eliminated in the same city in back-to-back seasons, joining the 2013-14 Dodgers (eliminated in St. Louis) and the 2000-01 Mariners (eliminated in New York).
• Edwin Encarnacion went 2-for-3 with a single, home run and three RBIs. He hit .417 (5-for-12) with two home runs and four RBIs in the series, and he now has three home runs in four games this postseason. Encarnacion's first-inning blast Sunday was his fourth postseason home run as a member of the Blue Jays, moving him into second place in franchise history (Jose Bautista and Joe Carter each with six).
• With his solo homer in the first inning, Russell Martin became the fourth player in Major League history to hit a postseason home run with four teams, having already done so with the Dodgers, Yankees and Pirates.
Martin's homer also made him the seventh Blue Jay to homer in the ALDS. Only four other teams have had seven players go deep in a first-round postseason series: the 2015 Cubs, '04 Astros, '02 A's and 1995 Yankees.
• The Blue Jays used the long ball to bury Texas all series, hitting two more homers in Game 3 to bring their total to eight in the ALDS. Toronto is the first team to hit eight homers in the first three games of a postseason series since the Astros tallied nine four home runs against the Cardinals in the first three contests of the 2004 NLCS.
• The Rangers lost a one-run game for just the 12th time in 2016. Texas went 36-11 in one-run contests during the regular season -- which was the best record in such games in Major League history.
• Texas' six-game postseason losing streak is the second longest in franchise history, behind nine consecutive losses from 1996-99.