Vancouver Sun

It’s 5-3 times two as Jays win again

Dickey only lasts five, but defence — and three dingers — seal the deal

- KEN FIDLIN

For two months last season, the Blue Jays dazzled with their gloves, their arms and their bats and it won them a division championsh­ip. So, what if they can mine that same repertoire for an entire season?

For the second night in a row, the Jays flashed some leather, delivered some timely clutch pitching and, oh yeah, they slugged their way to 5-3 victories over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The consummate glove work especially was the part of the game the Jays didn’t have through the first four months of 2015, and it has been an obvious weapon these past two nights.

Monday night, Troy Tulowitzki, Kevin Pillar and, yes, Chris Colabello made sensationa­l defensive plays. Josh Thole (yes, really), Michael Saunders and Josh Donaldson provided the sock, and the lockdown bullpen, featuring Brett Cecil, Drew Storen and Roberto Osuna, slammed the door on the Rays.

It wasn’t exactly textbook. The Jays built a 5-1 lead and there were moments when it looked as if they were going to squander it, but the Jays repelled every challenge. R.A. Dickey pitched into and out of trouble through the early innings yet made big pitches when he needed to. Jesse Chavez picked him up in the sixth inning and kept the damage to a run.

Then Cecil, Storen and Osuna in order got the job done. Cecil benefited from a highlight-reel catch by Pillar on a ball hit deep to centre by Steve Pearce leading off the seventh before fanning the last two men he faced. Storen allowed two baserunner­s but delivered a crucial strikeout to strand them both. And Osuna took out the Rays in order in the ninth for his second save.

Dickey got the win, allowing all three runs in his five innings of work. Saunders delivered the big blow, a two-run homer in the fourth that broke open a close game.

With two outs in the top of the fifth, Donaldson unloaded on a Drew Smyly offering at 3-1 and belted it into the seats in left-centre for the Blue Jays’ third home run of the night.

 ?? BRIAN BLANCO/GETTY IMAGES ?? Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson celebrates with Jays outfielder Jose Bautista after hitting a home run off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Drew Smyly during the fifth inning on Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla. The homer was Toronto’s third...
BRIAN BLANCO/GETTY IMAGES Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson celebrates with Jays outfielder Jose Bautista after hitting a home run off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Drew Smyly during the fifth inning on Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla. The homer was Toronto’s third...

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