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Astros starter Ronel Blanco ejected in the fourth inning after a foreign substance check

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Astros starter Ronel Blanco ejected in the fourth inning after a foreign substance check
Sport

Sport

Astros starter Ronel Blanco ejected in the fourth inning after a foreign substance check

2024-05-15 12:27 Last Updated At:12:30

HOUSTON (AP) — Astros starter Ronel Blanco was ejected at the start of the fourth inning of a 2-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night 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.

Blanco's glove was confiscated and Bacchus ran off the field with it and took it somewhere before returning. Diaz, who was the crew chief Tuesday, said it was being sent to the commissioner's office.

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.

Diaz said they didn't know what the substance was.

“We don’t determine that,” he said. “We just felt it was sticky, sticky enough that our fingers got stuck. So now it’s all up to the office on what it was and all that.”

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 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.

“What I told them is: ‘If you found something sticky in my glove you should also check my hands because it should also be on my hand,’” Blanco said. “'Just check my hand,' and he didn’t.”

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. The Astros led 1-0 when he was replaced by Tayler Scott.

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

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

Houston Astros starting pitcher Ronel Blanco leaves the field after being ejected following a foreign substance check during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Houston Astros starting pitcher Ronel Blanco leaves the field after being ejected following a foreign substance check during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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, May 14, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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, May 14, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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, May 14, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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, May 14, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A tightly contested race in Virginia between one of America's most conservative congressmen and a challenger endorsed by former President Donald Trump is too close to call, The Associated Press said Monday.

The AP issued an advisory saying that the margin separating U.S. Rep. Bob Good and state Sen. John McGuire is likely to remain within a margin of a single percentage point. That means the race is eligible for a recount under state law.

Good, who currently trails by more than 300 votes out of nearly 63,000 cast, has said he will seek a recount if the state electoral board certifies McGuire as the winner.

McGuire’s lead has actually grown slightly since early Wednesday morning.

Good on Monday also told former Trump adviser and right-wing podcaster Steve Bannon that he will be pursuing a legal challenge to block the certification of the count in the city of Lynchburg, the largest city in the 5th Congressional District and a Good stronghold.

“Lynchburg is the big key. That can’t be certified. There’s no confidence in Lynchburg’s results,” Good said.

Good and others have claimed that the city botched the vote count by accepting ballots from a drop box after election night.

In a statement Monday, the city registrar acknowledged a procedural error but said fewer than 10 ballots, if any, were affected.

The statement from the registrar’s office says the drop box, located inside the registrar’s office, was emptied out just before 1 p.m. on Election Day. But the box was not emptied again until Friday, June 21. Seven ballots were inside.

The registrar’s statement says staffers in the registrar’s office saw multiple ballots dropped off legally in the afternoon on Election Day but did not see any ballots placed in the box after that.

Those seven ballots have since been mixed in with another batch of ballots, and the registrar has said counting has been placed on hold while they consult with the Virginia Department of Elections on what to do next.

The State Department of Elections did not respond to an email Monday seeking comment.

McGuire, who claimed victory on election night, issued a statement Monday thanking Good for his service and suggesting that a recount or a legal challenge would be pointless and divisive.

“While I understand the desire to continue the fight, the outcome of this election will not change,” he said.

Both Good and McGuire are among Republicans who have raised concerns about election integrity in the wake of Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in his 2020 reelection defeat. Good was among more than 100 GOP House members who voted in January 2021 to object to the Electoral College count from states that Trump disputed.

In an election eve telephone rally with Trump last week, McGuire urged supporters to deliver him a margin of victory “too big to rig.”

If Good loses, he would be the first House incumbent to lose a primary challenge this year, with the exception of one race in which two incumbents faced off due to redistricting.

FILE - Rep. Bob Good, left, a candidate in the Republican primary for the state's 5th Congressional District, greets family members at a watch party in Lynchburg, Va.,, June 18, 2024. On Monday, June 24, 2024, The Associated Press said the race between Good and Sen. John McGuire was still too close to call. (AP Photo/P. Kevin Morley, File)

FILE - Rep. Bob Good, left, a candidate in the Republican primary for the state's 5th Congressional District, greets family members at a watch party in Lynchburg, Va.,, June 18, 2024. On Monday, June 24, 2024, The Associated Press said the race between Good and Sen. John McGuire was still too close to call. (AP Photo/P. Kevin Morley, File)

FILE - Virginia state Sen. John McGuire, a candidate in the Republican primary in the state's 5th Congressional District, joins supporters, June 18, 2024, in Lynchburg, Va. On Monday, June 24, 2024, The Associated Press said the race between McGuire and Rep. Bob Good was still too close to call. (AP Photo/Skip Rowland, File)

FILE - Virginia state Sen. John McGuire, a candidate in the Republican primary in the state's 5th Congressional District, joins supporters, June 18, 2024, in Lynchburg, Va. On Monday, June 24, 2024, The Associated Press said the race between McGuire and Rep. Bob Good was still too close to call. (AP Photo/Skip Rowland, File)

Virginia state Sen. John McGuire, a candidate in the Republican primary in the state's 5th Congressional District, joins supporters Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Lynchburg, Va. (AP Photo/Skip Rowland)

Virginia state Sen. John McGuire, a candidate in the Republican primary in the state's 5th Congressional District, joins supporters Tuesday, June 18, 2024, in Lynchburg, Va. (AP Photo/Skip Rowland)

Virginia state Sen. John McGuire, a candidate in the Republican primary for the state's 5th Congressional District, speaks to supporters in Lynchburg, Va., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Skip Rowland)

Virginia state Sen. John McGuire, a candidate in the Republican primary for the state's 5th Congressional District, speaks to supporters in Lynchburg, Va., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Skip Rowland)

Supporter Phil Hamilton places campaign signs for Rep. Bob Good, a candidate in the Republican primary for the Virginia's 5th Congressional District, along Timberlake Road in Lynchburg, Va., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (AP Photo/P. Kevin Morley)

Supporter Phil Hamilton places campaign signs for Rep. Bob Good, a candidate in the Republican primary for the Virginia's 5th Congressional District, along Timberlake Road in Lynchburg, Va., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (AP Photo/P. Kevin Morley)

Rep. Bob Good, left, a candidate in the Republican primary for the state's 5th Congressional District, greets family members at a watch party in Lynchburg, Va., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (AP Photo/P. Kevin Morley)

Rep. Bob Good, left, a candidate in the Republican primary for the state's 5th Congressional District, greets family members at a watch party in Lynchburg, Va., Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (AP Photo/P. Kevin Morley)

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