Blanco no-hits Blue Jays, gives Astros first victory

Blanco no-hits Blue Jays, gives Astros first victory post thumbnail image

HOUSTON — Ronel Blanco put a bow on a exceptional week.

In a span of seven days, the Houston right-hander welcomed a brand new daughter, made his first Opening Day roster — after which threw the primary no-hitter within the main leagues this season.

Blanco struck out seven and walked two within the Astros’ 10-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night time. The 30-year-old, who did not play within the majors till he was 28, was making simply his eighth profession begin. He would not even be in Houston’s rotation if not for accidents to Justin Verlander and Jose Urquidy.

“It has been a really lengthy street traveled for me,” he mentioned in Spanish by way of an interpreter. “A number of ups, lots of downs, lots of falls, lots of me getting again up. However I feel all of that has been value it for me to have the ability to get to this second.”

He walked George Springer to begin the sport and once more with two outs within the ninth. When Vladimir Guerrero Jr. grounded out to finish it, Blanco smiled broadly earlier than elevating his arms above his head simply earlier than being mobbed by teammates.

“I see it as an awesome blessing, an awesome blessing for me and my household,” he mentioned. “With the arrival of my daughter I see it as a life-changing expertise, and I dedicate this to my household and my daughter.”

It was the seventeenth no-hitter in Astros historical past and the primary within the majors since Philadelphia’s Michael Lorenzen threw one towards the Washington Nationals on Aug. 9 of final yr.

Houston’s earlier no-hitter got here a couple of week earlier than that one when Framber Valdez did it in a 2-0 win over Cleveland on Aug. 1.

Kyle Tucker and Yainer Diaz every homered twice because the Astros gained their first sport of the season after shedding 4 to the Yankees. Houston’s Joe Espada turned the primary supervisor in main league historical past to get his first win in a no-hitter.

“I could not be any happier for the best way at this time turned out,” Espada mentioned.

The Astros are the fourth group in MLB historical past to get their first win of the season in a no-hitter, and the primary since Boston’s Hideo Nomo pitched one towards the Orioles in 2001. Nomo’s no-hitter that yr got here on April 4. That was the file for the earliest no-hitter by calendar date, in accordance with Sportradar, however Blanco’s gem broke the mark by three days.

Blanco threw 105 pitches, averaging 93.6 mph with 31 fastballs and likewise throwing 36 changeups, 34 sliders and 4 curveballs.

Espada mentioned the changeup was the important thing to Blanco’s success Monday.

“It makes the fastball and the slider that significantly better,” he mentioned. “The way in which it comes out of the hand, it appears similar to his fastball and hitters are dedicated to doubtlessly swinging at a fastball and the ball simply sort of falls within the zone. It is a pitch that he is labored actually exhausting on and it paid huge dividends tonight.”

Toronto supervisor John Schneider agreed.

“Actually good changeup, it was virtually like a break up, slider combo,” he mentioned. “Give him credit score — that is actually exhausting to do. I do know he hasn’t been beginning a lot, however he was actually good and his changeup was excellent.”

The Dominican righty sailed by way of the sport and did not want too many huge performs from his protection, though with one out within the ninth, Cavan Biggio hit a grounder to the correct facet. First baseman Jose Abreu fielded it diving to his proper after which, whereas nonetheless on the bottom, threw to Blanco protecting first for the out.

“The play needed to be made,” Abreu mentioned. “That is the one factor I used to be occupied with.”

Within the eighth, Alejandro Kirk hit a ball that Blanco deflected, and it rolled away from him. Mauricio Dubon, who had simply entered the sport for Jose Altuve at second base, charged in and grabbed it earlier than making the throw to first to retire Kirk.

Blanco had by no means pitched an entire sport as an expert and hadn’t pitched greater than six innings.

The Astros tagged Toronto’s Bowden Francis (0-1) for 10 hits and 7 runs in his first main league begin.

Altuve hit a leadoff single earlier than Tucker’s shot with one out within the first made it 2-0. There have been two outs when Diaz linked on his first homer to push the result in 3-0.

Pena’s house run to the seats in left discipline made it 4-0 with one out within the second.

Chas McCormick doubled with one out within the fourth and scored on a two-out single by Jake Meyers that made it 5-0.

Pena prolonged the result in seven with a two-run single within the sixth.

Yordan Alvarez walked to begin the seventh earlier than Tucker homered once m
ore to make it 9-0. There was one out within the inning when Diaz linked once more, sending one into the seats in proper discipline.

Toronto star shortstop Bo Bichette missed a second sport with neck spasms however was doing higher Monday.

The loss represented the eighth time in franchise historical past that the Blue Jays have been no-hit, and continued a topsy-turvy begin for the Toronto offense. In a four-game opening collection vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto scored 17 runs in its two wins and simply three in two losses at Tropicana Area.

“It is robust, you need to be affected person, however his stuff was good,” Schneider mentioned of Blanco. “If something, you simply tip your hat to a man who threw a no-hitter. He had good things.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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