There’s a lot to celebrate for the Blue Jays right now. In addition to clinching their first postseason berth since 1993, AL MVP favorite Josh Donaldson reached the 40-homer plateau for the first time in his career last night.
Watch this blast against Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi…
Donaldson is the ninth player in franchise history to reach 40 homers in a season. He’s just the third to have 40 homers and 40 doubles in the same season. Carlos Delgado (2000) and Shawn Green (1999) are the only others.
One day after clinching the AL Central, the Royals threw out their B-squad Friday night against the Indians. Carlos Carrasco took advantage by striking out a career-high 15 batters as part of a one-hit shutout in a 6-0 victory.
Carrasco, who came within one out of a no-hitter against the Rays on July 1, held the Royals hitless until Alex Rios singled with one out in the seventh. He completed the gem by sitting down the final eight batters, which included six consecutive strikeouts at one point. It was his second career shutout and sixth career complete game.
Every hitter in the Royals’ lineup struck out at least once. Carrasco induced 26 swinging strikes and all of his 15 strikeouts came on a swing and miss.
Carrasco became the first pitcher in franchise history to strike out 15 batters in a shutout while allowing no more than one hit. According to Jeffrey Flanagan and Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, such a pitching line has only been accomplished 16 times in MLB since 1914. His game score was 98, tied for second-highest in the majors this season. Only Max Scherzer‘s 16-strikeout one-hitter against the Brewers ranks higher.
Carrasco, who has 211 strikeouts, and Corey Kluber (230 strikeouts) are the first pair of Indians pitchers to have 200-plus strikeouts in a season since Luis Tiant and Sam McDowell did it in 1967 and 1968.
The Astros fell 4 1/2 games back in the AL West with a 6-2 loss to the first-place Rangers last night. And now their September slide has put them at risk for missing the playoffs altogether.
The Angels moved within a half-game of the Astros for the second Wild Card spot with a 5-4 victory over the Mariners last night. Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron both homered while Garrett Richards persevered through a shaky second inning for his 15th win of the season.
The Astros (80-74) have a half-game edge over the Angels (79-74), but the two teams are tied in the loss column. While the Angels are the biggest threat here, the Twins are 1 1/2 games back while the Indians (3 games back) and Orioles (3 1/2 games back) are still alive. It promises to be a fun final week.
Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:
Pirates 3, Cubs 2
White Sox 5, Yankees 2
Rays 3, Blue Jays 5
Phillies 8, Nationals 2
Twins 4, Tigers 6
Mets 12, Reds 5
Orioles 0, Red Sox 7
Braves 11, Marlins 12
Indians 6, Royals 0
Dodgers 4, Rockies 7
Rangers 6, Astros 2
Brewers 4, Cardinals 3
Diamondbacks 6, Padres 3
Giants 4, Athletics 5
Mariners 4, Angels 5