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Johnny Vander Meer remains the only pitcher in baseball history to throw a no-hitter in back-to-back starts. On Sunday night, Houston Astros righty Ronel Blanco took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers (HOU 3, TEX 1) before Adolis García broke it up with a two-out single back up the middle. Blanco no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays last Monday, in his first start of 2024.

According to, Blanco's 14 2/3-inning hitless streak to begin the season is easily the longest in the Expansion Era (since 1961). The previous record is 11 1/3 innings done by three relievers: Austin Cox (2023 Royals), Josh Hader (2020 Brewers), and Brad Clontz (1996 Braves). Here is García's history-ruining single:

Thanks to the changeup he has leaned on heavily out of the gate this season, Blanco did not allow a single batted ball with better than a 50/50 chance to go for a hit based on the exit velocity and launch angle, according to Statcast. He dominated the Rangers by generating weak contact, much like he did the Blue Jays earlier in the week. 

Truth be told, Blanco appeared to be running out of gas in the fifth inning, after walking the No. 8 and 9 hitters. He threw 105 pitches in Monday's no-hitter -- that is the most pitches thrown by anyone in a game this season -- and Astros manager Joe Espada said he would likely keep Blanco on a shorter leash Sunday night. The no-hitter likely would have been a combined effort.

Ronel Blanco
HOU • SP • #56
April 7 vs. Rangers
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Blanco's 14 2/3-inning no-hit streak is the third longest by a starting pitcher since 1990, regardless of when it happened in the season. Here's the leaderboard:

  1. Max Scherzer, 2015 Nationals: 16 consecutive no-hit innings
  2. Doc Gooden, 1996 Yankees: 16
  3. Ronel Blanco, 2024 Astros: 14 2/3
  4. Sean Manaea, 2018 Athletics: 14
  5. Justin Verlander, 2011 Tigers: 14
  6. Mark Buehrle, 20019 White Sox: 14

Injuries are the only reason Blanco is in Houston's rotation right now. Verlander reported to spring training with an achy shoulder and José Urquidy suffered an elbow injury in camp, clearing the way for Blanco to make the Opening Day rotation as the No. 5 starter. Two starts into 2024, he's pitching like an ace.

Blanco, 30, entered the season with a career 4.78 ERA in 58 1/3 innings spread across seven starts and 17 relief appearances. The Astros gave him a $5,000 signing bonus as an international amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic at age 22 in 2016. Blanco was playing in an amateur league and working at a car wash at the time.