OF Michael Saunders hit his first career postseason homer Monday in the Jays’ 4-2 loss to the Indians in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. He is batting .313 (5-for-16) in six playoff games this season with the homer and one double.
3B Josh Donaldson was 1-for-3 with a walk Monday in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, a 4-2 Toronto loss to Cleveland. Donaldson is batting .448 (13-for-29) with six doubles in seven postseason games this year.
2B Devon Travis is out for the season after being replaced on the AL Championship Series roster by 1B Justin Smoak. Travis first experienced the right knee problems when he was scratched from the second game of the AL Division Series sweep over the Rangers, and an MRI showed a bone bruise. He returned for the ALCS and re-injured the knee during Game 2. An MRI revealed a bone bruise with a small flap of cartilage in the joint. He likely will require an arthroscopic procedure on the knee but is expected to be ready for spring training. Travis missed much of last season and all of the postseason with a shoulder injury that required offseason surgery.
RHP Aaron Sanchez said that the key for him will be containing his excitement Tuesday when he starts Game 4 of the ALCS against the Indians. The Blue Jays face elimination in the best-of-seven series after losing the first three. It will be Sanchez’s second career postseason start and his second this season. His previous postseason experience was as a reliever in 2015. “Hopefully just to keep my emotions in check,” Sanchez said, when asked what he had learned from his start in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers. “I’ve been there before, last year, but it was out of the ‘pen. The roles were a little bit different.” Sanchez allowed six runs on three hits and four walks in taking a no-decision against the Rangers, a game Toronto won in 10 innings. In the 2015 postseason, he was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 7 1/3 innings over nine games. Sanchez was 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA in one start against Cleveland this season. He is 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in three career games, including two starts, against the Indians.
RF Jose Bautista was moved into the leadoff spot in the batting order Monday in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians. SS Troy Tulowitzki was moved into the No. 4 slot to replace Bautista, who was 1-for-3 with a walk in Toronto’s 4-2 loss. Bautista is 4-for-24 (.167) with six walks, two homers and five RBIs in this postseason. Bautista was put at the top of the order earlier in the season when the offense was sputtering. “It really sparked us,” manager John Gibbons said. “And I’ve always liked the fact that you put your top dogs up there, might be an extra at-bat, something like that.”