Toronto Blue Jays win game 4, stave off elimination
Josh Donaldson came up big against Cleveland when it mattered. Photograph: (Getty)
The Toronto Blue Jays still have their World Series hopes alive, after beating Cleveland in game four of the American League Division Series (ALDS) by a score of 5-1.
The story was Josh Donaldson, who popped off a solo home run in the third inning to give the Jays their first lead of the series. In the fifth, Donaldson made a stylish grab on a rocket to third base and fired to first in time to end the inning, just when Cleveland seemed poised to put up some runs and tie the game at 2.
Then in the seventh inning, with men on second and third base, Cleveland opted to intentionally walk Donaldson, preferring to load the bases and face RBI machine Edwin Encarnacion, who then proceeded to hit a single that scored two, giving the Jays much needed breathing room.
Pillar brought home Carrera on a sac fly in the 8th to pad the lead, but it turned out the run wasn't needed.
The Blue Jays lost the first three games of the series after struggling to get their bats going. The high-powered offence was reduced to a miserable three runs scored in the first three games. But their sharp defence, and Cleveland's similar lack of scoring, has kept the games tight.
The Jays and Cleveland meet Wednesday in Toronto to play game 5 of the ALDS. If the Jays lose, Cleveland will advance to the World Series to play the winner of the LA Dodgers and Chicago Cubs series.
In 2015, Toronto qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1993, the year they won their second consecutive World Series.
The Jays need to win one more at Toronto's SkyDome, and if they do, game 6 and if necessary game 7 will be played in Cleveland.
Josh Donaldson and the boys will be ready.