HOUSTON (AP) Victor Caratini hit an RBI single in the 10th inning to lift Houston to a 2-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night after the Astros lost their starting pitcher when Ronel Blanco was ejected following a foreign substance check.

The game was tied at 1 when pinch-runner Trey Cabbage replaced Jon Singleton as the automatic runner on second in the 10th. Cabbage moved to third on a flyball by Jake Meyers before Caratini hit a grounder to center off Michael Kelly (2-1) to give the Astros their fifth win in six games.

“The bullpen did a great job,” manager Joe Espada said. “That was a big win. We didn’t want to get Blanco out of the game in that way but the bullpen came in and did a tremendous job and that was a big team win.”

Espada raved about the poise of Caratini, who hit a game-ending homer as a pinch hitter on April 30.

“He's just going to put the barrel on the ball and he did it again,” he said.

Josh Hader (2-3) got the win by escaping a jam in the top of the 10th. With one out and runners on second and third, the veteran closer struck out pinch-hitter Esteury Ruiz before Brent Rooker grounded out to end the threat.

Oakland tied it at 1 in the eighth. Abraham Toro led off with a ground-rule double down the left-field line off Ryan Pressly. Toro moved to third on a groundout by JJ Bleday and scored on Rooker's single.

Houston had led 1-0 since Alex Bregman opened the second with a drive to left off JP Sears for his fourth homer. He also went deep twice Monday night.

Bregman doubled in the fourth to become the first player in franchise history with an extra-base hit in five straight at-bats. He became the first major leaguer to accomplish the feat since Yankees star Aaron Judge last season.

Bregman’s streak ended when he grounded out in the sixth.

Blanco was ejected by third base umpire Laz Diaz after a check of his glove before the start of the fourth. The umpires, Blanco and Espada stood at the mound for a couple of minutes discussing the issue before the right-hander was thrown out.

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

“I felt something inside the glove,” first base umpire Erich 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 through a translator. “Maybe because of the sweat it got into the glove and that’s maybe what they found.”

A's manager Mark Kotsay said he didn't think Blanco’s early exit impacted his team.

“They used all their leverage guys,” he said. "(We got) to Pressly and got a run (but) obviously our offense the last two nights hasn’t done a ton. These guys have pitched us really well.”

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

MLB began cracking down on foreign substances in June 2021, and Blanco likely will face a 10-game suspension for the infraction.

Sears allowed five hits in five innings.


Athletics: 2B Zack Gelof was reinstated from the injured list after missing 20 games with a strained left oblique. Gelof returned after making two rehabilitation appearances for Triple-A Las Vegas this weekend. Oakland optioned OF Lawrence Butler and LHP Easton Lucas to Las Vegas and recalled LHP Brady Basso from Double-A Midland.

Astros: OF Chas McCormick (right hamstring) resumed a rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi. He went 0 for 2 with an RBI in his second rehab game.


Oakland RHP Aaron Brooks will make his season debut against LHP Framber Valdez (2-1, 3.64 ERA) when the series continues Wednesday night.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.