Tacoma Rainiers outfielder Jabari Blash needed a bounce-back game. The slugger had a night to forget Friday, going 0 for 4 with four strikeouts.
He recovered nicely Saturday.
Blash singled home the tying run in the third inning, then hit a go-ahead home run in the fifth as Tacoma picked up a 7-4 win at Colorado Springs.
This came after Blash struck out in his first plate appearance, giving him five strikeouts in a row.
“He had a rough day yesterday, but he came back and battled today,” said Tacoma manager Pat Listach. “Even if you have a rough day, you’ve got to forget about it and put it in the past.”
What won’t be forgotten is the overall damage Blash did on the road trip. He homered in five of the eight games of the Rainiers journey through Oklahoma City and Colorado Springs.
“He’s up to 27 home runs on the season,” Listach said. “Hopefully he can finish with a nice, round number.”
Blash has hit 17 home runs in 47 games for Tacoma. He mashed 10 more during a 60-game stint at Double-A Jackson.
Blash’s shot made a winner of Tacoma starter Forrest Snow (9-8), who looked like he wasn’t going to be in the game for long.
After escaping a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the first inning, Snow gave up two runs on three hits in the second.
Then the first three batters in the third inning had hits, and there was stirring in the Tacoma bullpen. But Snow retired 9 of the 10 batters that followed and made it through five innings.
“He couldn’t find his release point in the first couple of innings, and he settled down in the third when he started getting the ball down,” said Listach.
Tacoma had 14 hits — 13 singles, and Blash’s go-ahead homer. Chris Taylor reached base five times with three singles and two walks, and Leury Bonilla also had three hits.
The Rainiers earned a split of the series and went 4-4 on the trip.
“We’ll take a split on the road, we just need to win some games at home,” Listach said.
The Rainiers open an eight-game homestand — the final one of the season — at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. Mariners left-hander James Paxton (0-0, 0.00 ERA) gets a rehab start against against Memphis lefty John Gast (6-9, 5.00).