Astros' Ronel Blanco makes MLB history, goes 14 straight innings without allowing a hit

Houston pitcher Ronel Blanco carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning Sunday

Ronel Blanco backed up his no-hitter perfectly.

While the Houston Astros pitcher didn’t throw a second consecutive no-hitter — that has been done just once, and not in almost 90 years — he did make MLB history on Sunday. Blanco carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his team's 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers before it was broken up.

In total, Blanco went 14 consecutive innings and 44 outs without allowing a hit. That’s the best start to a season by a pitcher since at least 1961.

Blanco threw his first career no-hitter last week in the Astros' 10-0 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays on April 1. It marked the first no-hitter of the MLB season in just the eighth start of Blanco's MLB career. He retired 26 straight batters and surrendered only two walks in the win, which quickly earned the former reliever another start this week against the Rangers.

While it wasn't quite as dominant as his first time out, Blanco delivered again. He had four strikeouts and allowed just a single hit — Adolis García hit a single to center in the sixth inning — in his six innings on the mound. Blanco walked four batters and threw 90 pitches before he was taken out of the game.

Thanks to Blanco’s performance on the mound and a three-run homer from Yordan Álvarez in the third inning, the Astros made it out of Globe Life Field with the win. Jordan Foscue hit an RBI single in the ninth for Texas, his first career hit, but the Astros picked up the last two outs of the inning without issue to close out the win.

While the Astros’ start to the 2024 season hasn’t been great — they hold just a 3-7 record after being swept by the New York Yankees to open the year — Blanco has more than succeeded on the mound. He seems to have earned his place in the rotation for the time being, if not longer.