The Boston Globe

Astros’ Blanco no-hits Blue Jays

He strikes out seven, walks two in his gem


Ronel Blanco of the Astros threw the first no-hitter in the major leagues this season, blanking the Blue Jays, 10-0, at Houston on Monday night.

The righthande­r struck out seven and walked two. 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.

It was the 17th no-hitter in Astros history and the first in the majors since Philadelph­ia’s Michael Lorenzen threw one against the Nationals 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 Aug. 1.

Kyle Tucker and Yainer Diaz each homered twice to provide the offense in this one as the Astros won their first game of the season after losing four to the Yankees. Houston’s Joe Espada became the first manager in major league history to get his first win in a no-hitter.

Blanco threw 105 pitches, averaging 93.6 m.p.h. with 31 fastballs and also throwing 36 changeups, 34 sliders, and 4 curveballs. The 30-year-old Dominican sailed through the game and didn't need too many big plays from his defense, although with one out in the ninth, Cavan Biggio hit a grounder to the right side. First baseman Jose Abreu fielded it diving to his right and then, while still on the ground, threw to Blanco covering first for the out.

In the eighth, Alejandro Kirk hit a ball that Blanco deflected, and it rolled away from him. Mauricio Dubón, who had just entered the game for Jose Altuve at second base, charged in and grabbed it before making the throw to first to retire Kirk.

Blanco, who had never pitched a complete game as a profession­al, was making his eighth major league start and had never pitched more than six innings.

Pirates are 5-0

The Pirates improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1983, beating the Nationals, 8-4, at Washington with two run-scoring hits from Connor Joe, including a tiebreakin­g RBI double in the eighth inning.

Michael A. Taylor, a former member of the Nationals, had three hits, and Bryan Reynolds, Andrew McCutchen, Alika Williams, and Henry Davis delivered two apiece. Reynolds stretched his on-base streak to 33 consecutiv­e games dating to last season with a first-inning single and tacked on a two-run double in the ninth.

Pittsburgh remained unbeaten, all on the road, following a four-game sweep of the Marlins to begin the season.

The Pirates were 76-86 last year. Pittsburgh led, 3-1, entering the seventh, but backup catcher Riley Adams — playing for the first time this season — tied the game for Washington by depositing a four-seam fastball 427 feet off reliever Roansy Contreras for a tworun homer. Contreras (1-0), though, got the win.

That's because his teammates produced a three-run eighth off relievers Robert Garcia (0-1) and Matt Barnes. The big hit was Joe’s double to left that scored Taylor, who reached on a bunt. Ke’Bryan Hayes and McCutchen also drove in runs.

Aroldis Chapman got Lane Thomas to pop up for the final out with two men on, earning his first save of the season.

Trout homers twice in win

Mike Trout hit two solo homers and the Angels rallied from an early fourrun deficit and beat the Marlins, 7-4, at Miami.

Trout’s second shot — a 473-foot blast in the sixth — landed in the walkway high above the wall in left-center field. It was the 26th multi-homer game of Trout’s career and the two blasts put him at 371 in his career, surpassing Gil Hodges for 81st on the alltime list.

Trout’s bid for a third homer ended when Miami reliever Tanner Scott (0-2) walked him to load the bases in the eighth. Brandon Drury then reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Anthony Rendon from third and snapped a 4-4 tie.

Westburg saves Orioles

Jordan Westburg hit a tiebreakin­g, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to carry the Orioles past the Royals, 6-4, at Baltimore.

Westburg's opposite-field drive to right came on an 0-and-2 pitch from Nick Anderson (0-1) after the Royals rallied to tie the game in the top of the inning.

Ryan Mountcastl­e homered and drove in three runs for the Orioles.

Bobby Witt Jr. and Salvador Perez homered for the Royals, the second straight game in which each went deep.

With the score tied at 3 in the eighth, singles by Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman put runners at the corners with two outs for Mountcastl­e, who reached on an RBI infield single when first baseman Nick Loftin couldn't handle the throw from the shortstop Witt.

Imanaga, Cubs shine

Shota Imanaga pitched six sparkling innings in his major league debut, and the Cubs used another defensive mistake by Nolan Jones to beat the Rockies, 5-0, at Chicago.

Working in short sleeves on a cold, gray afternoon, Imanaga struck out nine in Chicago’s home opener. The Japanese lefthander, who signed a $53 million, four-year contract in January, allowed two singles and walked none.

Dakota Hudson also was impressive in his first start for Colorado, but a pair of errors on Jones on one play in the sixth sent the righthande­r to the loss.

Jung hurt in Rangers’ win

Rangers slugger Josh Jung homered and drove in four runs before leaving Texas’s 9-3 victory over the host Rays with a fractured right wrist.

The All-Star third baseman left in the ninth inning when he was struck by a pitch he swung at and missed.

Manager Bruce Bochy said there’s no definitive timetable for him to return to the lineup.

Dane Dunning took a one-hitter into the seventh inning for the World Series champion Rangers, and Adolis García delivered his 100th career home run.

 ?? KEVIN M. COX/ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Ronel Blanco had the 17th no-hitter in Astros history and the first in the majors since Philadelph­ia’s Michael Lorenzen’s in August.
KEVIN M. COX/ASSOCIATED PRESS Ronel Blanco had the 17th no-hitter in Astros history and the first in the majors since Philadelph­ia’s Michael Lorenzen’s in August.

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