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

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

Ronel Blanco got Toronto Blue Jays All-Star Vladimir Guerrero to ground out to second base to throw his first career no-hitter, a 105-pitch gem that led the way to a 10-0 victory. 

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

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Ronel Blanco #56 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park on April 01, 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, it’s 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 as a 22-year-old. It took him awhile before he got to the majors, which came in 2022, though it wasn’t a ceremonious welcome. 

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

But after making 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 certainly made the best of his first outing of the year. 

Yainer Diaz fist bumps Ronel Blanco

Yainer Diaz (L) #21 of the Houston Astros high-fives teammate Ronel Blanco #56 after ending the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park on April 01, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

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

Jeremy Peña would homer the following inning, and add a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth as well. 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 homer of the season, a towering shot to right center for another two runs, which Diaz once again followed up with a solo shot, this time to right field to get double-digit runs on the board. 

It was an all-around dominant win for the Astros, and one that Blanco and the franchise will never forget. 

Ronel Blanco reacts after out

Ronel Blanco #56 of the Houston Astros reacts after the end of the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park on April 01, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

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The Astros are now 1-4 on the season following their sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees, while the Blue Jays are 2-3. 

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