Toronto homers and lack of clutch hits hurt Rays in loss

- Three long balls and a lack of clutch hitting hurt the Tampa Bay Rays.

Josh Donaldson, Michael Saunders and Josh Thole homered to help R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Tampa Bay 5-3 on Monday night.

All three of Toronto's home runs came off Drew Smyly. Donaldson connected for a solo shot in the fifth inning, Saunders delivered a two-run homer in the fourth and Thole went deep on a third-inning drive that umpires initially ruled a double after a fan interfered by catching the ball before it reached the stands.

"He just got beat up by the long ball. The two lefties and Donaldson," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

The call on Thole's drive was reversed after a replay review, erasing a 1-0 Tampa Bay lead.

"From all our angles, I don't know how you can overturn it," Smyly said.

The disputed homer went over Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr.

"It's tough," Souza said. "The ball took (the fan's) glove down and he made it look like it would be in play. But, it's hard for me to tell."

Roberto Osuna, the fifth Blue Jays pitcher, worked a perfect ninth for his second save.

The Rays were 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base.

"Dickey had a knack of really getting the knuckleball going when guys got on base," Cash said. "Their bullpen came in and it seemed like when guys got on we started seeing the better quality pitches."

Smyly (0-1), limited to 12 starts a year ago when he spent much of the season on the disabled list due to left shoulder tendinitis, allowed five runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings.

The left-hander walked one and struck out five.

"I can't let that happen, two home runs to two different lefties in the lineup," Smyly said. "They have enough hard-hitting righties. I can't let those lefties beat me."

Troy Tulowitzki had a sacrifice fly after homering during the Blue Jays' 5-3 victory on opening day.

Souza hit an opposite-field homer to right off Dickey (1-0) in the second.

"Just trying to play whiffle ball with him, honestly," Souza said. "If it's high, let it fly. It was up in the zone and tried to hit it in the air and it left the yard."

The game drew a crowd of 15,116 to Tropicana Field, a little less than half of Sunday's announced sellout of 31,042.

NICE GRAB

Toronto center fielder Kevin Pillar made an outstanding catch on pinch-hitter Steve Pearce's drive to deep left-center, extending his arm fully before leaping to make the catch and falling headfirst into the wall. "Does it get any better than that?" Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "But I've got to be honest with you, I've seen it before. Really, nothing surprises me out of him. He's that good."

GOING RIGHT

The Blue Jays' lineup featured six straight right-handed hitters at the top of the order against Smyly. Gibbons finished it with three lefties, even though the manager acknowledged constructing the lineup that way figured to make it easier for the Rays to set up their bullpen "with us going right-right-right."

FOR NAUGHT

Rays ace Chris Archer is one four pitchers to strike out 12 or more batters on opening day and lose. He was the first do it since Bob Gibson fanned 12 for St. Louis against Montreal in 1975.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays RHP Aaron Sanchez, who was 7-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 2015, starts Tuesday in the third game of the four-game series between AL East rivals. The Rays counter with RHP Jake Odorizzi, who was 9-9 with a 3.35 ERA last season.

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