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Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco ejected after foreign substance check early in start vs. A's

Houston Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco was ejected on Tuesday night after a foreign substance check in their game against the Oakland Athletics.

Third base umpire Laz Diaz inspected Blanco’s glove and then ejected him before the start of the fourth inning on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park. His glove was confiscated after the umpires passed it around during the inspection while Blanco pleaded his case. Blanco then walked away and watched while the umpires opted to throw him out.

Blanco is now likely facing a 10-game suspension for violating the league’s foreign substance policy.

Blanco got off to a historic start to the season earlier this spring. He threw his first career no-hitter on April 1, which marked the only one of the MLB season so far, while leading the Astros to a 10-0 blowout win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Blanco threw the no-hitter in what was just the eighth start of his career, too.

Then in his next start, he backed it up perfectly. Blanco ended up going 14 straight innings and 44 outs without allowing a hit, which was the best start to a season by a pitcher since at least 1961.Those two outings quickly earned him a regular spot in the pitching rotation in Houston.

Blanco holds a 2.23 ERA and a 4-0 record in more than 44 innings on the mound this season. The 30-year-old had allowed four hits and struck out a single batter through three innings before he was ejected. He was replaced on the mound by Tayler Scott.

The Astros held a 16-25 record going into Tuesday’s contest. After losing eight of their first 10 to start the season, the Astros had won four of their last five — including a 9-2 win over the A’s to kick off their series in Houston.

This post will be updated with more information shortly.

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