Ross James/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Houston Astros starting pitcher Ronel Blanco may be the proverbial late bloomer, but given the historic start that he has made to the season, it’s hard to see the bloom coming off this rose anytime soon.

Following up his no-hitter on Monday in his first start of the season, Blanco held the defending World Series champions hitless for the first 5 2/3 innings, eventually allowing just one hit over six innings to lead the Astros to a 3-1 victory inside Globe Life Field on Sunday evening.

Yordan Alvarez cracked a three-run home run in the third inning for all of the runs Houston needed, as the Astros won the first game of the four-game set after the Rangers won the first two games of the wrap-around series.

Blanco, 30, was making just his 25th appearance, and ninth start, in Major League Baseball when he twirled a 105-pitch no-no at home to mark the Astros’ first win of the season after being swept in four games by the Yankees. Once again taking the bump after another losing streak for the Astros, Blanco continued to baffle hitters with his pitch-to-contact stuff, and even his four walks were not enough to force him into serious trouble.

“I’m a believer that all the hard work that you do is going to pay off at some time or another,” Blanco said through an interpreter. “So not really surprised with these things that are happening in my career.”

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday evening’s contest, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 38 pictures in total.

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Tags : Houston AstrosMajor League BaseballRonel BlancoTexas Rangers

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