The Toronto Blue Jays are going to the ALCS after a 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers in the decisive Game 5 of the ALDS on Wednesday.
And what a game it was.
Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, the Blue Jays scored four runs after loading the bases on three consecutive errors. The big blast was a three-run homer from Jose Bautista that gave them a 6-3 lead. And that wasn't even the real highlight of the inning.
The Rangers took a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh on a bizarre play. Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin threw the baseball back to reliever Aaron Sanchez after a routine ball was called, but the ball hit Shin-Soo Choo's bat and rolled down the third-base line. That allowed Rougned Odor to score from third base. The game was delayed while the play was reviewed and after fans littered the field with cups and other debris. And then the benches cleared. The game was played under protest.
Both starting pitchers were sharp -- at least until the chaotic seventh inning. Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels allowed five runs (only two earned) on four hits and struck out eight. Meanwhile, Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman pitched six innings of two-run ball and struck out four.
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Prince Fielder and added to that lead with a solo homer from Choo in the third. Toronto made it 2-1 with Jose Bautista's RBI double in the bottom of the third and tied it at 2 with Edwin Encarnacion's long solo blast in the sixth.
The Blue Jays now await the winner of Wednesday evening's ALDS Game 5 between the Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals. Game 1 of the ALCS is set for Friday night.