EL PASO -- Jabari Blash homered three times and drove in seven runs as the Tacoma Rainiers thumped the El Paso Chihuahuas 13-4 at Southwest University Park on Tuesday night.
Blash stretched a 2-1 Rainiers lead to four runs after belting a three-run shot with two outs in the top of the third inning. He went deep again with a solo shot in the fifth that put Tacoma up 9-2, and then expanded that lead to 13-3 after hitting another three-run blast in the sixth.
The outfielder is the first Rainiers player to homer three times in a game since Alex Liddi hit three home runs at Albuquerque on August 4, 2011. Blash is also Tacoma's first player to drive in seven runs since Mike Carp racked up seven RBI against at Tucson on June 6, 2011.
The Rainiers combined to collect a total of 13 hits in the team's series finale at El Paso. Along with Blash, outfielder Xavier Nady turned in Tacoma's other three-hit outing after going 3-for-4, including an RBI single that tied the score at 1-1 in the third. Outfielder Logan Morrison drove in three runs with a three-run home run in the fourth - the second of his Major League rehab assignment at Tacoma.
Right-hander Chance Ruffin (2-3) was awarded the win after holding the Chihuahuas to one run on three hits in 2.0 innings of work out of the bullpen. The Rainiers relief staff combined to toss 7.0 innings, allowing two runs on 11 hits and striking out nine.
Starter Taijuan Walker limited El Paso to one run on one hit in 2.0 innings in the second start of his Major League rehab assignment with the Rainiers. The right-hander walked four and struck out four.
The Rainiers (23-34) enjoy a scheduled league off day on Wednesday before opening a five-game homestand against the Albuquerque Isotopes at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 5. Right-hander Matt Palmer (1-1, 2.00) is expected to start for Tacoma against Isotopes right-hander Sam Demel (0-1, 7.59). Thursday's series opener will be nationally televised as the CBS Sports Network's Minor League Baseball Game of the Week.
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