June 13, 2024

Houston Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco receives 10-game suspension after 'sticky stuff' found on gloves - Yahoo Sports

Astros’ Ronel Blanco back from suspension, will face A’s in finale

Ronel Blanco hopes to finish something he started in mid-May as he and the Houston Astros face the host Oakland Athletics in the rubber match of their three-game series Sunday afternoon.

After the Astros swept a May 13-16 four-game home set against the A’s, the clubs have battled on even terms in Oakland this weekend, with the Astros taking a fifth win in a row over their American League West rival 6-3 on Friday before the A’s broke through with a 3-1 triumph on Saturday.

Houston Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco receives 10-game suspension after 'sticky stuff' found on gloves - Yahoo Sports

Blanco played a role — albeit a small one — in the earlier Astros sweep, shutting out the A’s on four hits over the first three innings of a 2-1 win on May 14 in the second game of the series.

But before the right-hander reached the dugout after completing his third inning, he failed an umpire’s inspection and was ejected for having a sticky substance on his glove. He subsequently was suspended for 10 days, a period that ended Saturday.

Neither Blanco, who threw a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays in his season debut on April 1, nor any other member of the Astros organization has admitted guilt in the incident.

“Ronel sweats profusely. It’s like a guy running up and down the basketball court,” general manager Dana Brown said. “I think it was a combination of the rosin and the sweat, and it’s the umpire’s call. He made the judgment that he thought it was a sticky substance, so we’re at the mercy of (that).

“From our perspective, we feel like this is a guy who sweats a ton, and when you combine the sweat and the rosin, we feel like maybe that’s what they felt was sticky.”

Blanco later admitted he didn’t know that Major League Baseball rules prohibit a pitcher from having rosin on his non-throwing hand.

“We’ll make sure that we go over it again with everybody,” Houston manager Joe Espada said.

Blanco (4-0, 2.09 ERA) was off to an All-Star-level start before the suspension. The 30-year-old right-hander hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his eight starts, which have resulted in seven Astros wins.

He can expect to see a different look from the A’s this time. The club promoted outfielders Daz Cameron and Miguel Andujar from Triple-A last week, and each has already made a positive contribution.

Cameron, who hit a game-tying home run in his A’s debut Thursday against the Colorado Rockies, knocked in Oakland’s third run Saturday with a single. Andujar, who did not play in Saturday’s 3-1 win, collected three hits and two RBIs in his first game for Oakland on Friday.

“Big hit for Cameron,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said afterward. “This is a kid who signed with us to have an opportunity to make the big-league team, and we like what we’ve seen. He’s had two games he’s had an impact in.”

Right-hander Aaron Brooks (0-1, 4.15 ERA), another current member of the A’s who began the season at Triple-A, is slated to make his third start of the season for the parent club in the season finale.

The 34-year-old has given the A’s 13 innings over his two starts, allowing just three runs in each. His big-league season debut came in a 3-0 loss at Houston on May 15, when he gave up all three runs on seven hits in seven innings.

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