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Who is Ronel Blanco? Numbers behind Astros' no-hitter

Logan Riely / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Houston Astros right-hander Ronel Blanco recorded the first no-no of 2024 after dominating the Toronto Blue Jays with seven strikeouts and two walks over nine innings Monday.

Here are some of the standout stats from Blanco's historical performance.

0 - The writing may have been on the wall based on Blanco's success in spring training. He allowed zero runs on six hits with four walks and 18 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings in the Cactus League.

1 - New Astros manager Joe Espada picked up his first career win in the no-hitter. Espada, who replaced Dusty Baker in the offseason, became the only skipper in MLB history to collect a first managerial victory via a no-no.

4 - Houston is only the fourth major-league club ever to get its first win of the season on a no-hitter, joining the 2001 Boston Red Sox, 1972 Philadelphia Phillies, and 1940 Cleveland Indians, according to Sarah Langs of Blanco's gem also set the record for the earliest no-hitter by calendar date.

8 - Blanco's feat came in just his eighth career start. Before Monday's game, he posted a 4.78 ERA with 5.91 FIP over 58 1/3 innings. The hurler also started because Justin Verlander, José Urquidy, Luis Garcia, and Lance McCullers Jr. are all on the injured list.

17 - The Astros love their no-hitters. The club now has 17 in team history, including six since 2019, which is easily the highest total in the majors in that time. For comparison, the Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, and Tampa Bay Rays each have only one in their existence.

28 - Blanco made his MLB debut at age 28 in 2022. He only started 34 games out of 202 appearances during a seven-year stretch in the minors after becoming a professional in 2016.

38 - The 30-year-old has spent most of his pro career as a reliever. He's registered 38 saves in the minors.

5,000 - Houston signed a then-22-year-old Blanco for $5,000 on April 27, 2016. The club has been successful inking older Latin American pitchers, as Framber Valdez (21), Cristian Javier (18), and Garcia (20) are all above the MLB age requirement of 16 to sign international prospects.

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