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Astros’ Ronel Blanco throws no-hitter against Blue Jays in 8th career start

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The Houston Astros’ first win of the season comes with the first no-hitter of the 2024 MLB campaign.

Ronel Blanco got Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero to go to second base to throw his first career no-hitter, a 105-pitch gem that paved the way for a 10-0 victory.

Blanco’s only blemishes in the box score were two walks, both going to George Springer, who walked for the second time before Guerrero’s groundout sealed the no-hitter score. He also struck out seven Blue Jays.

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Ronel Blanco Locations

Ronel Blanco #56 of the Houston Astros throws during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park on April 1, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

What makes this even more impressive is the fact that this is just the 30-year-old Blanco’s eighth career start in the big leagues.

For the Astros, this is the 17th no-hitter in franchise history.

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Blanco, a native of Santiago, Dominican Republic, has been in the Astros’ minor league system since 2016 when he was 22 years old. It took him a while to advance to the majors, which took place in 2022, although the welcome was not ceremonious.

Blanco owned a 7.11 ERA over seven appearances during this season, and he hasn’t fared much better in 2023 with a 5.02 ERA over 17 games (seven starts).

But after being a part of the back end of the Astros’ rotation coming out of spring training – Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers, Luis Garcia and Jose Urqidy all started the season on the IL – Blanco has certainly drawn the best out of his first outing of the year.

Yainer Diaz fist hits Ronel Blanco

Yainer Diaz (L) #21 of Houston Astros teammate Ronel Blanco #56 after finishing the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park on April 1, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

It also helped that Houston’s offense made it very easy for it to focus after extending the lead early with a three-run first inning thanks to Kyle Tucker’s two-run homer, his first of the year, and to Yainer Diaz’s solo shot right after him.

Jeremy Peña homered the next inning and also added a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth. Jake Meyers also singled to left field in the bottom of the fourth to score Chaz McCormick.

And for good measure, Tucker hit his second home run of the season, a towering shot to right center for two more runs, which Diaz once again followed with a solo shot, this time to right field to put the points in two numbers on the board. .

It was a dominant overall victory for the Astros, and one that Blanco and the franchise will never forget.

Ronel Blanco reacts after his release

Ronel Blanco #56 of the Houston Astros reacts after the bottom of the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park on April 1, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

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The Astros are now 1-4 this season after their sweep against the New York Yankees, while the Blue Jays are 2-3.

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