Donaldson went 2-for-6 with a home run, a double and three RBI on Tuesday in the Blue Jays' exciting 12-inning win over the Padres. Donaldson set the tone Tuesday with a two-run shot in the top of the first inning with no outs off San Diego starter Andrew Cashner. The Blue Jays later trailed the Padres 6-4 in the 12th inning, when Donaldson helped finish the night with a RBI fielder's choice that setup teammate Devon Travis to score the winning run and complete the comeback on a walk-off wild pitch later that inning. The reigning AL MVP is set to contend for the title once again, now with a 1.002 OPS that ranks second in the AL only to veteran DH David Ortiz.
Donaldson went 2-for-4 with a walk, home run, three RBI and two runs in Wednesday's matinee in Arizona. Donaldson did not have to wait very long to make his presence felt in the series finale. Just five pitches into the game, Donaldson came through with a two-run shot that made a splash landing in the pool at Chase Field. According to Statcast, the third baseman's 24th home run of the season landed a projected 412 feet away and left his bat at 109 mph. Donaldson has at least one hit in 31 of his last 36 games, with 40 RBI over that span.
The reigning AL MVP enters the 2016 All-Star Game with a .304 average, 23 home runs, 63 RBI, 80 runs and a 1.017 OPS through 336 first-half at-bats. The third baseman ranks among the best in baseball in practically every offensive category, and is very much in the hunt for winning a second consecutive AL MVP award. If you thought it wasn't possible for Donaldson to get much better than he was a season ago, well, think again. He's improved his plate discipline to elite levels, walking at a career-high rate of 15.3 percent while striking out only 16.8 percent of the time, compared to 18.7 percent last year. Donaldson's 80-percent contact rate is up a tick from 2015, and his.294 ISO destroys last season's career-high mark of .271. The 30-year-old is on pace to mash 40-plus home runs, notch 100-plus RBI and score 140-plus runs in 2016.
Donaldson got the start at DH on Sunday, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a three-run home run in a win over the Tigers. The home run was his 23rd of the season, but more importantly the run he scored was his 80th, making him the first player to cross the plate 80 times before the All-Star break since Ian Kinsler and Hanley Ramirez did it in 2008 and just the sixth American League hitter in history with 20-plus homers and 80-plus runs before the break. The other five? Merely Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Reggie Jackson, Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez. Donaldson heads into the second half with a .304/.418/.598 slash line and clearly has every intention of repeating as AL MVP.
Donaldson went 3-for-4 with two home runs and scored four times in Tuesday's win over the Royals. Fresh off being named a reserve to the AL All-Star team, Donaldson blasted two in one game for the second time this season. He also pushed his average over .300 for the first time since April 18 by notching his 10th hit in the last four games (10-for-15). Donaldson has scored 77 runs, a franchise record for runs before the All-Star break. Carlos Delgado had 76 in 2003.
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