For the first time in 22 years, the Toronto Blue Jays have advanced to the American League Championship Series. The Jays defeated the Texas Rangers 6-3 Wednesday night in a win-or-go-home series finale at the Rogers Centre.

The game was decided in a bizarre, confusing and emotion-filled seventh inning.

The Blue Jays entered the seventh tied 2-2 with the Rangers. With one out, Jays reliever Aaron Sanchez missed the strike zone, bringing the count against Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to 2-2. When Jays’ catcher Russell Martin attempted to throw the ball back to Sanchez, it deflected off Choo’s bat and rolled down the third-base line.

In that moment the Rangers’ second baseman Rougned Odor, who was on third, bolted from home and scored on the play. Umpires first ruled the ball as dead, since it appeared to hit Choo’s bat, but a crew of umpires reversed the decision. The result was that Odor’s run counted, which left the Jays trailing as they headed into the bottom of the seventh.

The umpires were correct in allowing Odor to score, but it didn’t help when Jays’ fans began throwing trash on the field directed towards the Rangers players.

Jays outfielder José Bautista was not willing to his team’s season be decided on one bizarre play.

Entrenched in the batter’s box, Bautista waited on a 1-1 offering from Rangers reliever Sam Dyson.

Then Bautista delivered the greatest home-run Toronto has seen since Joe Carter homered to clinch the World Series in 1993.

 

To say Bautista crushed Dyson’s offering is an understatement. He hit the ball so hard that it landed right under Carter’s retired nameplate in left-center field.

Before he trotted around the bases, Bautista emphatically flipped his bat in the air.

The Jays never looked back following Bautista’s three-run dinger, and the team clinched its first postseason series in more than 20 years.

Destiny seems to favor Canada’s juggernaut, a team that is unwilling to give up when it’s faced with the most daunting challenges.

The Jays square off Friday against the Kansas City Royals.

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