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Blash's blasts plate career-high six runs

Seattle's No. 18 prospect goes yard twice as Tacoma loses slugfest
May 25, 2014

For Jabari Blash, good things are coming in twos.

The Mariners' No. 18 prospect drove in a career-best six runs while posting his first two-homer game of the season on his second straight two-hit day, but it wasn't enough as Triple-A Tacoma fell to El Paso in a slugfest, 14-12, on Sunday.

"I'm just getting back into a rhythm," Blash said. "I got some pitches over the plate that I was able to take advantage of and drive out of the ballpark. For the most part, today wasn't really much different from any other day. I drove the ball a lot better today, but I'd like to walk away with that win."

Sunday's wild affair went into the fourth inning scoreless before El Paso got on the board with Jake Goebbert's sacrifice fly and a two-run double by Adam Moore.

In the bottom of the fifth after Ty Kelly singled in a run, Blash smacked the second pitch of the at-bat to left field for his first Triple-A grand slam.

"I was just looking for something up in the zone to drive in the outfield," Blash said. "I think [Chihuahuas starter Jason Lane] left a cutter in and up over the plate a little bit. I was able to get extended and drive it out of the ballpark."

The fourth game of this five-game set had more twists and turns to follow. In the sixth, Goebbert doubled home two runs, and Moore followed with a sacrifice fly to once more put El Paso into the lead. Jeff Francoeur lofted a solo shot for the Chihuahuas in the seventh, but Blash sparked the Rainiers once more. The outfielder followed a Jesus Montero's two-RBI double with a two-run homer.

Blash's two jacks matched his total from his previous 19 games in Triple-A since his late April promotion from the Southern League.

"It's a little bit different from [Double-A] Jackson," Blash said. "I'm seeing a lot tougher pitches, and these guys don't miss as much. They're doing a great job moving the ball in and out."

Blash had just three multi-hit games with Tacoma prior to the last two days. The St. Thomas, Virgin Islands native has three extra-base hits and six RBIs since Saturday.

"Contact brings a lot of confidence back," he said. "It's just about getting settled in. These guys come in every day competing, and I need to do the same thing every day. I'm seeing the ball well. I've still got to make a few adjustments, but I'm just looking forward and taking it one day at a time."

El Paso continually found answers to Tacoma's offense. Jace Peterson singled in a run and Brooks Conrad followed with a three-run homer in the eighth. Xavier Avery blasted a three-run homer in the bottom of the frame with Kelly and Blash aboard, but the Chihuahuas responded with three more in the ninth. Peterson and Conrad plated all three tallies in that frame too.

In relief of Dennis O'Grady (1-0), Hector Ambriz worked a perfect ninth for his second save.

Zach Miner (0-2) was charged with three unearned runs on two hits over his lone inning to take the loss.

Tyler Maun is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun.