Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - A day after hitting his first two home runs of the season, Josh Donaldson hit a walk-off homer in the 10th inning to lead the Toronto Blue Jays to a 6-5 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.
Toronto found itself down 4-0 before scoring three runs in the seventh. Jose Bautista put the Blue Jays in front an inning later with a two-run home run, but that lead was short-lived when Kelly Johnson tied the game with a solo shot in the ninth off Miguel Castro. Donaldson was the only batter Sugar Ray Marimon (0-1) faced in the 10th.
"You make a mistake or put the ball over the plate, they hit it out of the ballpark," said Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez. "We didn't have enough runs where we could've absorbed that."
After Castro blew the save, Brett Cecil (1-1) kept Atlanta off the board in the top of the 10th.
"We definitely needed that. You know Donaldson, not everybody can do that," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Big win."
Freddie Freeman and A.J. Pierzynski homered off Toronto starter R.A. Dickey, who allowed four runs on four hits and four walks in seven innings with six strikeouts.
Atlanta starter Alex Wood allowed three runs on nine hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings but did not record any strikeouts.
Dickey, who has struggled with his control in his first two starts, only needed four pitches to retire Cameron Maybin to open the game. He then allowed a single to Alberto Callaspo in a three-ball count before walking Nick Markakis and Freeman. Chris Johnson got Atlanta on the board with a sacrifice fly, but Dickey struck out Pierzynski to avoid further trouble.
"I thought we had a great approach against Wood... Dickey gutted it out for seven innings," Gibbons said.
The first two Braves in the third struck out, and Dickey thought he struck out the side against Markakis but did not get the call. Markakis would walk, and Freeman capitalized by ripping his second home run in as many days to right field.
The fourth inning did not start any better for Dickey. Pierzynski hit the first pitch over the fence to extend Atlanta's lead to 4-0. Jonny Gomes almost went back-to-back, but his deep drive was caught on the warning track by Kevin Pillar.
Danny Valencia collected his third hit of the day with a one-out double in the seventh. Wood lost the shutout when Russell Martin singled to score Valencia. Steve Tolleson tripled home Martin with two outs, and Dalton Pompey's infield hit pulled Toronto within 4-3 and knocked Wood from the game. Devon Travis popped out against Brandon Cunniff to finally end the inning.
Atlanta failed to add insurance in the eighth when Markakis and Freeman were stranded on base after opening the frame with back-to-back singles. In the bottom half of the inning, Donaldson singled off Jim Johnson, and Bautista hit a towering home run to left field to give the Blue Jays their first lead.
That lead only lasted three pitches. Kelly Johnson greeted Castro with a leadoff home run, and Castro had to work out of a two-out jam with Eric Young Jr. on second base.
Valencia finished with four hits, and Donaldson reached base four times ... Toronto is now 1-4 in one-run games this season ... The all-time series between these teams is now tied at 18 ... Dickey had pitched nine straight quality starts ... Atlanta fell to 5-1 when scoring first ... Sunday's rubber game pits Atlanta's Shelby Miller against Toronto's Daniel Norris.