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Astros' Ronel Blanco ejected due to foreign substance on hand, faces 10-game suspension

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Houston Astros right-handed pitcher Ronel Blanco was ejected on Tuesday night for the use of a foreign substance on his hand.

At the start of the top of the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics, umpires met with Blanco and manager Joe Espada for a few moments, with the pitcher unde high maintenance.

Blanco's glove was confiscated and first base umpire Erich Bacchus ran off the field with it and took it somewhere before returning.


Ronel Blanco #56 of the Houston Astros is ejected in the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park on May 14, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Blanco held out his hands and patted them together in front of the umpires while they inspected his glove before he was ejected, and he did the motion again after he was tossed.

The four umpires then discussed the matter together, and before long, Blanco was canned.

Major League Baseball cracked down on foreign substances in 2021 when, simply, pitchers were too dominant with the sticky stuff. The substances are used to increase spin rates, which causes more break on the ball, leading to less offense.

Blanco has been a diamond in the rough for the Astros this season. Tuesday marked just his 15th start, and 32nd appearance, in the majors. But he tossed a no-hitter in his first start of the season earlier this year and owns a dominant 2.08 ERA.

Houston Astros starting pitcher Ronel Blanco (56) talks with second base umpire Tripp Gibson after being ejected following a foreign substance check during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Tuesday,