Donaldson's dominant August has Blue Jays back in playoff conversation


Josh Donaldson is dragging the Toronto Blue Jays back into the postseason picture.

The Bringer of Rain has been flooding the Rogers Centre and opposing ballparks in August, propelling an injury plagued, and left for dead, club to within three games of the second wild-card spot.

After battling calf issues and offensive inconsistency throughout the first four months of the season, Donaldson has flipped the switch in August, and has returned to his MVP-winning form from 2015. Over his last 15 games, Donaldson is hitting .400/.530/1.000 with nine home runs, 21 RBIs, and just seven strikeouts.

"Josh is on fire," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told reporters. "When he's getting a pitch he likes, he's not missing it."

Month GP HR AVG/OBP/SLG TOR W-L
April 9 2 .310/.429/.586 8-17
May 4 1 .250/.294/.500 18-10
June 25 5 .247/.364/.473 11-15
July 25 3 .216/.355/.352 12-15
August 15 9 .400/.530/1.000 10-5

The home-run ball has been of the utmost importance for Donaldson and the Blue Jays this month. The club is 8-1 with he goes deep in August, with five of his nine blasts plating the go-ahead run.

DATE OPP IN SCORE RESULT W-L
Aug 1 CWS T1 0-0 Solo HR 8-4 W
Aug 2 CWS T9 4-1 TOR Solo HR 5-1 W
Aug 8 NYY B1 0-0 2-run HR 4-2 W
Aug 8 NYY B3 2-1 TOR 2-run HR 4-2 W
Aug 13 PIT B1 1-0 PIT 2-run HR 7-1 W
Aug 14 TB B1 0-0 2-run HR 2-1 W
Aug 15 TB B5 6-1 TB 3-run HR 6-4 L
Aug 17 TB B1 0-0 Solo HR 5-3 W
Aug 17 TB B5 2-1 TOR Solo HR 5-3 W

Another sign of how well things are going for Donaldson is that he took Chris Archer deep twice in Thursday's win. Donaldson entered the game 4-for-30 with no extra-base hits and 12 strikeouts in his career against the Tampa Bay Rays right-hander.

"We haven't seen a hitter that hot in a while," Archer said of Donaldson following the game.

Toronto was seven games back of the second wild-card spot heading into August with seven teams ahead of them. Since then - and without the services of Troy Tulowitzki, Aaron Sanchez, Devon Travis, and Russell Martin - the Blue Jays have gained four games and moved into a tie on percentage points with Tampa Bay and Baltimore.

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