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Rays Offensive Woes Continue North Of The Border

Jake Odorizzi made a mistake to the second batter of the game.  What he didn't know was that it would cost him the entire contest.

Josh Donaldson's two-run homer in the first inning proved to be all the offense the Toronto Blue Jays would need against the Rays, taking the first game of their four-game set 2-1 Monday at Rogers Centre.

Odorizzi had problems commanding his fastball early in the contest, walking Jose Bautista to lead off the bottom of the first, then left a 91 MPH fastball up and away from Donaldson, who deposited it into the bullpen in right-center for his 17th home run of the year.

Wilson Ramos, who had a horrible homestand both at the plate and behind it, cut the deficit back to 2-1 in the top of the next inning, knocking his 4th homer of the year off the facade of the second deck in right-center.

Tampa Bay would back-to-back singles from Lucas Duda and Evan Longoria with two out in the third, but those would be the final hits the Rays would get on the evening.

But it would not be the only chance they had to try and tie the game.  Corey Dickerson flew out to the wall in right after the Rays loaded the bases in the fourth.  Ramos nearly hit his second home run of the night in the sixth, but Kevin Pillar was able to track the ball down at the 400 mark in center, and Tampa Bay got Peter Bourjos and Daniel Robertson on with nobody out in the seventh, but saw Dickerson ground into a fielder's choice, Duda strike out and Longoria line out to end the last threat of the night.

After the first-inning homer, Odorizzi (6-6) settled down to toss six innings and allow just three hits, walking three and striking out three.  Sergio Romo worked a scoreless seventh and Brad Boxberger and Dan Jennings combined for a scoreless eighth.

The loss is Tampa Bay's eighth over their last ten games and drops them to two games below .500 at 59-61.

Blake Snell (0-6, 4.69 ERA) will look to right the ship Tuesday, taking on Marco Estrada (5-7, 4.85 ERA) in game two of the series.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:07, with coverage starting at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.

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