NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tacoma outfielder Jabari Blash homered for the third straight game to power the visiting Rainiers to a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Sounds on Sunday afternoon at Greer Stadium.
The Sounds (38-33) suffered their third straight loss to Tacoma despite out-hitting the Rainiers, 11-6, on the afternoon.
Tacoma took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as a two-out walk came back to haunt Sounds starter Ariel Pena. After fanning the game's first two batters, the right-hander issued a free pass to Ji-Man Choi, who promptly scored the afternoon's first run on Nick Franklin's ensuing RBI double to right-center.
The Rainiers doubled the lead to 2-0 in the second. Xavier Avery drew a one-out walk, stole a pair of bases, and scored on Abraham Almonte's RBI single. Almonte finished 3-for-5 on the afternoon.
Pena lasted only three innings, tossing 85 pitches while matching a Sounds season high with six walks allowed. He gave up two runs on two hits and struck out five.
Nashville knotted the score at 2-2 in the home half of the fourth against Tacoma starter Forrest Snow. Sean Halton led off with a double, moved to third on Hunter Morris' single, and scored the Sounds' first run on a throwing error by Rainiers catcher Jesus Sucre. After advancing to third on a Hector Gomez single, Morris plated the tying run on a Taylor Green groundout.
Blash continued his monster series when he homered for the third straight game in the top of the seventh, belting a 434-foot homer over the neck of the guitar scoreboard in left-center to give the visitors a 4-2 cushion. The two-run blast off Arcenio Leon, which also plated Franklin (walk), was the slugger's team-leading 12th of the year.
Leon (0-1) suffered the loss after surrendering the go-ahead homer.
The Sounds mounted a rally in the ninth against Rainiers reliever Brandon Maurer. Gomez singled with one out and later scored on pinch-hitter Pete Orr's two-out single to right to pull Nashville within a run at 4-3. With the potential tying run on first, Maurer recovered to retire Jeff Bianchi on a game-ending groundout to close out the victory and earn his third save of the year.
The Sounds will look to avoid a sweep when the teams wrap up the four-game set with a 7:05 p.m. finale on Monday evening. PCL ERA leader Jimmy Nelson (7-1, 1.51) will toe the slab for the Sounds to face Tacoma right-hander Andrew Carraway (2-4, 4.99).