NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jabari Blash homered and drove in a pair of runs as the Tacoma Rainiers earned an 8-1 series-opening win over the Nashville Sounds at Greer Stadium on Friday night.
Blash was responsible for providing the Rainiers an early 1-0 edge after stealing home from third base with one out in the top of the second inning. The outfielder later upped Tacoma's 2-0 lead to four runs after belting a two-run home run in the fourth - his tenth with the Rainiers this season.
Blash has now hit safely in a season-high eight consecutive games, and is batting .400 (12x30) with five extra-base hits and nine RBI since June 6. The ten home runs he has recorded in 38 games with the Rainiers this season currently lead the team.
Tacoma's lineup combined to collect a total nine hits against the Sounds. Catcher Humberto Quintero led the hitting corps after going two-for-four including an RBI single in the fifth inning. Infielder Chris Taylor drove in a run in the ninth with his team-leading sixth triple of the season, and Xavier Avery drove in another with an RBI double in the fourth.
Starter James Gillheeney starred for the Rainiers from the mound. The left-hander held the Sounds to one run on six hits and struck out five in 6.0 innings of work. Relievers Todd Coffey (1.0), Logan Kensing (1.0) and Lucas Luetge (1.0) combined to toss 3.0 scoreless frames out of the bullpen.
The Rainiers (28-39) look to snag a third consecutive win in the second game of the team's four-game series at Nashville (38-31) tomorrow, June 13. Right-hander Taijuan Walker (0-1, 6.30) is slated to start for Tacoma against Sounds left-hander Brad Mills (4-1, 1.57). First pitch is scheduled for 4:35 p.m.
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