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AL West Check-In: Astros’ Blanco suspended for foreign substance

May 15, 2024, 2:56 PM

Houston Astros Ronel Blanco...

Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco is ejected from a May 14, 2024 game. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — Astros starter Ronel Blanco received a 10-game suspension Wednesday for violating MLB’s prohibitions on foreign substances after being ejected from the game against the Oakland Athletics.

Related: Astros cheat again? Blanco ejected for foreign substance

The suspension was announced by Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president of on-field operations. The suspension will begin Wednesday night unless Blanco appeals the penalty, which also includes an undisclosed fine.

Blanco was ejected at the start of the fourth inning of the 2-1 win over Oakland on Tuesday after umpires found a foreign substance that first base umpire Erich Bacchus said was “the stickiest stuff I’ve felt on a glove.”

Third base umpire Laz Diaz ejected Blanco after a check of his glove before he threw a pitch in the fourth inning. The umpires, Blanco and Houston manager Joe Espada stood at the mound for a couple of minutes discussing the issue before the right-hander was ejected.

Bacchus said there was nothing on Blanco’s glove when he checked it in the middle of the first, but he discovered it when he did his second check before the fourth.

“I felt something inside the glove,” Bacchus said. “It was the stickiest stuff I’ve felt on a glove since we’ve been doing this for a few years now.”

After Bacchus discovered the substance he called the rest of the crew in to confer.

“Everybody checked the glove to make sure we all had the same thing and he had to get ejected because he had a foreign substance on his glove,” Diaz said.

Blanco denied using an illegal substance.

“Just probably rosin I put on my left arm,” he said in Spanish through a translator. “Maybe because of the sweat it got into the glove and that’s maybe what they found.”

Espada added that when he went to the mound he saw “white powder” inside Blanco’s glove.

“It looked to me when I grabbed the glove (that) there was some rosin,” Espada said. “You’re not allowed to use rosin on your non-pitching hand and that’s what it looked like to me. It was a little bit sticky with the moisture and the sweat but that’s what it looked like to me.”

Blanco, who threw a no-hitter in his season debut, allowed four hits and struck out one in three scoreless innings Tuesday. He has a 2.09 ERA this season.

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AL West Check-In: Astros’ Blanco suspended for foreign substance