While Josh Donaldson may owe at least some of the votes that vaulted him into July’s All-Star Game (and to becoming the game’s top vote-getter) to rabid Toronto Blue Jays fan and social media darling Stephen Amell (the titular Green Arrow in the CW’s Arrow), what Donaldson has done over the last seven days for the surging Toronto Blue Jays has been nothing short of superheroic.
The Blue Jays are on a tear, having won eight straight games and nine of their last 10, climbing to within 1.5 games of the New York Yankees in the AL East race, and over the last seven days, Donaldson has led the Major Leagues in total bases (27), extra-base hits (7) and home runs (5), while driving in eight runs (T6), walking five times (T8), stealing a base and hitting .385 (10-for-26).
The Toronto third baseman has hit safely in each of his last seven games, has scored at least one run in each of those contests and has driven in at least one run in six of the past seven. Of his five home runs this past week, four came in the first inning, each giving the Blue Jays the early lead. Donaldson started off the week with a homer in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 3, before hitting homers in the first innings of the Aug. 4 and Aug. 5 games north of the border in Toronto. He then teed off in the first frame of the first and last games of the three-game series against the Yankees.
Donaldson’s first-inning home run on Sunday against the Yankees gave the Blue Jays all the offense they would need in a 2-0 win, and on Saturday, Donaldson’s one-out, five-pitch walk set the stage for Justin Smoak’s grand slam to right center to put Toronto up for good on the Bronx Bombers in an eventual 6-0 win.
In Friday’s series opener against the Yankees, Donaldson’s first-inning homer gave the Blue Jays the momentary lead, before New York answered in the bottom of the second in a game that wouldn’t be decided until a 10th-inning solo shot by Jose Bautista.
In the bottom of the fourth of that game, following a leadoff walk by Carlos Beltran, Donaldson started the 5-6-3 double play on a 2-2 grounder by Chase Headley to help get R.A. Dickey off the hook.