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Astros bask in no-hitter, get set to play Jays again

Astros right-hander Ronel Blanco was given an opportunity to start the season as a member of Houston’s rotation—something he had never had before in his career—when right-handers Justin Verlander and Jose Urquidy opened the season on the disabled list.

On Monday, Blanco, who was making just his eighth career start, pitched the 17th no-hitter in club history, helping the Astros defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-0 to win their first game of the season.

The two teams will play each other once more in Houston on Tuesday night.

For the third time, 30-year-old Blanco was included on Houston’s Opening Day roster for the game on Monday night. However, things were different at first.

He took use of the present chance. He threw 105 pitches, had seven strikeouts, and gave the Blue Jays just two walks. Between George Springer’s leadoff walk in the first inning and Springer’s two-out walk in the ninth, Blanco retired 26 straight batters.

Blanco had a formidable three-pitch mix, combining his slider and four-seam fastball with a decent changeup. A hectic week of personal highs, including making the rotation out of spring training and the birth of his daughter, was rounded off with the no-hitter.

“For my family and me, I consider it to be a huge blessing in the coming of my daughter,” Blanco stated via a translator. “I see it as a life-changing experience, and I dedicate this to my family and my daughter.”

After Houston’s bullpen was dragged down by every defeat in a four-game series against the New York Yankees, Blanco gave the relievers a much-needed night off.

Astros manager Joe Espada stated, “We needed that, and Blanco stepped up and gave us an incredible start and performance.” “What a week he has had, and I’m happy for him and his family.”

For the Astros on Tuesday, left-hander Framber Valdez (0-0, 5.79 ERA) will get the start. Despite giving up three runs on five hits, six walks, and five strikeouts in four and a half innings, he was not taken into consideration in the Yankees’ 5-4 victory on Opening Day.

In his only appearance against the Blue Jays during the previous campaign, Valdez was unsuccessful after giving up three runs on four hits, four walks, and five strikeouts in five innings during a 3-2 loss on June 8. In his four career starts versus Toronto, he is 1-3 with a 5.48 ERA, 20 strikeouts, and 11 walks in 23 innings.

The Blue Jays are expected to start right-hander Jose Berrios (1-0, 3.00 ERA) on Tuesday. He gave in.

The Blue Jays are expected to start right-hander Jose Berrios (1-0, 3.00 ERA) on Tuesday. In six innings, he gave up two runs on six hits, one walk, and six strikeouts in defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 8-2 on Opening Day.

Berrios faced the Astros twice in the previous season and went 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA while giving up four earned runs on seven hits, three walks, and five strikeouts in 13 innings. He has a 5.24 ERA in nine career starts against Houston.
Shortstop Bo Bichette was scratched late in the series finale against the Rays due to neck spasms, and the Blue Jays rested him for the second straight game on Monday. Bichette is being treated, but the organization is being cautious when it comes to his comeback to the starting lineup.
According to Blue Jays manager John Schneider, “he’s as durable as they come.” It’s simply an oddity.

“On Monday, he performed better than on Sunday. Just be cautious because you don’t want anything to blow up.”

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