Blue Jays Astros Baseball

Astros starting pitcher Ronel Blanco celebrates after throwing a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday in Houston. Kevin M. Cox/Associated Press

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

In a span of seven days, the Houston right-hander welcomed a new daughter, made his first Opening Day roster – and then threw the first no-hitter in the major leagues this season.

Blanco struck out seven and walked two in the Astros’ 10-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night. The 30-year-old, who didn’t play in the majors until he was 28, was making just his eighth career start. He wouldn’t even be in Houston’s rotation if not for injuries to Justin Verlander and José Urquidy.

“It’s been a very long road traveled for me,” he said in Spanish through an interpreter. “A lot of ups, a lot of downs, a lot of falls, a lot of me getting back up. But I think all of that has been worth it for me to be able to get to this moment.”

He walked George Springer to start the game and again with two outs in the ninth. When Vladimir Guerrero Jr. grounded out to end it, Blanco smiled broadly before raising his arms above his head just before being mobbed by teammates.

“I see it as a great blessing, a great blessing for me and my family,” he said. “With the arrival of my daughter I see it as a life-changing experience and I dedicate this to my family and my daughter.”


It was the 17th no-hitter in Astros history and the first in the majors since Philadelphia’s Michael Lorenzen threw one against the Washington Nationals on Aug. 9 of last year.

Houston’s previous no-hitter came about a week before that one when Framber Valdez did it in a 2-0 win over Cleveland on Aug. 1.

The Astros are the fourth team in MLB history to get their first win of the season in a no-hitter, and the first since Boston’s Hideo Nomo pitched one against the Orioles in 2001. Nomo’s no-hitter that year came on April 4. That was the record for the earliest no-hitter by calendar date, according to Sportradar, but Blanco’s gem broke the mark by three days.

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

Espada said the changeup was the key to Blanco’s success Monday.

“It makes the fastball and the slider that much better,” he said. “The way it comes out of the hand, it looks just like his fastball and hitters are committed to potentially swinging at a fastball and the ball just kind of falls in the zone. It’s a pitch that he’s worked really hard on and it paid big dividends tonight.”


RANGERS: Texas third baseman Josh Jung was scheduled for surgery Tuesday on his broken right wrist and will miss about six weeks, according to Rangers General Manager Chris Young.

Jung was hurt when he was hit by a pitch from Tampa Bay reliever Phil Maton on a swinging strike in the ninth inning of the Rangers 9-3 win on Monday night. He was placed on the 10-day injured list and infielder Justin Foscus was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Jung hit .266 with 23 home runs and a .781 OPS last season, finishing fourth in AL Rookie of the Year voting despite missing time with a broken left thumb. He batted .308 with an .867 OPS in the postseason for the World Series champions.

MARINERS: Seattle claimed left-handed pitcher Sammy Peralta off waivers from the Chicago White Sox.

Peralta will report to Triple-A Tacoma.

Peralta has not pitched in a major league game this season. He appeared in 20 games last season and was 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA during his stint in the majors. Before pitching for the White Sox, Peralta appeared in 29 games with six starts at Triple-A Charlotte.


DODGERS: Los Angeles claimed outfielder Taylor Trammell off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.

Trammell was designated for assignment by the Mariners last week after failing to make their Opening Day roster. The 26-year-old batted .130 with three home runs and 11 RBI in 22 games with Seattle last season, when he split time with Triple-A Tacoma and hit .268 with 21 homers.

MARLINS: Miami acquired infielder Emmanuel Rivera from the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash.

The 27-year-old Rivera hit .261 with four home runs, 13 doubles and 29 RBI in 86 games with Arizona last season. He also ranked fifth among MLB third baseman with a .295 average with runners in scoring position. He had one double, two RBI and two runs scored when Arizona played Texas in the 2023 World Series.

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