Blue Jays manager John Gibbons called Sunday’s 5-4 walk-off loss to the Boston Red Sox the most frustrating of an already frustrating first half of the season.

Losing is always tough, he said. But when you’re given an opportunity and you don’t take advantage, those ones hurt the most.

Monday was a different story for Gibbons and the Jays as they made the most of their chances to wallop the Detroit Tigers 8-3, in front of an announced sellout crowd of 45,766 on Canada Day at the Rogers Centre.

Wearing their festive reds, the Jays were 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position on Monday, compared to just 7-for-31 over their four games in Boston.

With a banged up lineup and just one healthy position player on the bench, the Jays got to Tigers rookie left-hander Jose Alvarez early, tagging him for five runs in the first three innings, while R.A. Dickey mostly handled Detroit’s deep lineup.

Fan favourite Munenori Kawasaki, playing second base in a rare start against a lefty, got the Jays offence rolling when he drove home the game’s first run in the second inning with a single through the left side of the infield. That rally might have continued if catcher Josh Thole had not run through third-base coach Luis Rivera’s stop sign en route to being thrown out at home.

But Jose Reyes, who went 3-for-5 in his first game back at the Rogers Centre since spraining his ankle in April, restarted the offence in the third inning with his second homer in as many games to lead off the frame before J.P. Arencibia, who failed to do any damage with the bases loaded and none out on Sunday, came through with a bases-loaded single to put the Jays up 4-0 before Maicer Izturis added a run on a sacrifice fly.

Mark DeRosa then took reliever Luke Putkonen deep in the fourth, a three-run shot into the right-field bullpen, and the rout was on.

Dickey, coming off his best outing as a Blue Jay — a complete-game, two-hit shutout in Tampa — was solid. He gave up a solo home run to Prince Fielder and a pair of doubles in a two-run fourth for Detroit, but those were his only blemishes in an otherwise stellar outing.

Rajai Davis continued his recent hot streak, going 2-for-5 with a pair of stolen bases. Heading into the game the speedy outfielder — playing left field while Melky Cabrera is on the disabled list — was hitting .375 with 13 stolen bases over his last 25 games.