TACOMA, Wash. -- Jabari Blash homered twice and drove in six runs as the Tacoma Rainiers fell to the El Paso Chihuahuas 14-12 at Cheney Stadium on Sunday.
Blash erased Tacoma's early 3-1 deficit with a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning - the first hit by a Rainiers player this season. The outfielder later broke open a 7-7 tie in the seventh with a two-run home run.
The six runs Blash drove in stand as the most by a Rainiers player since first baseman Rich Poythress produced six RBI with Tacoma on June 20 of last season. Blash has now homered four times and driven in 15 runs in 20 games since a promotion from Double-A Jackson on April 30.
Tacoma fell behind again 11-9 in the top of the eighth before Xavier Avery hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the frame - his first this season. The Rainiers 12-11 lead lasted only until the top of the ninth when the Chihuahuas pulled ahead for good after tallying three runs on two-out doubles hit by Jace Peterson and the third baseman Conrad.
As a team, the Rainiers combined collect 15 hits off El Paso on Sunday. Second baseman Ty Kelly led the lineup after going 4-for-5 and scoring three runs. First baseman Jesus Montero recorded three hits and drove three runs, including a game-tying two-RBI double in the seventh. Designated hitter Logan Morrison went 2-for-5 and scored two runs in the third game of his Major League rehab assignment with the Rainiers.
Reliever Zach Miner (0-2) was dealt the loss after surrendering three unearned runs on two hits in the ninth. The Rainiers bullpen combined to allow 11 runs - eight earned - on 11 hits in 4.0 total innings of work.
Starter James Gillheeney limited the Chihuahuas to three runs on five hits in 5.0 innings. The left-hander struck out a season-high seven batters and walked one in his seventh turn in the Rainiers rotation this season.
The Rainiers (21-27) host the final installment of the team's five-game series with El Paso (23-28) as part of a special 1:35 p.m. Memorial Day matinee game tomorrow, May 26. Right-hander Andrew Carraway (2-3, 4.91) will get the start for Tacoma in the series finale against Chihuahuas right-hander Matt Wisler (0-3, 13.50).
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