Hunter Renfroe ends hot May, but the rest of Boston’s bats are silenced
While Eduardo Rodriguez will probably be very happy to see the calendar turn in June, Renfroe Hunter probably hope her month of May would never end.
The right fielder was the only shining point in the Red Sox’s 11-2 loss to the Astros, as he ended his good month with another productive performance. Renfroe was responsible for both races for the Sox, netting a starting double in the sixth and coming in to score before smoking a solo homerun in the eighth.
Renfroe, who now has multiple performances in each of his last four games, came to life at plate in May after a slow start in April. He finished the month hitting .319 with six home runs and 15 RBIs, a much needed and significant boost at the bottom of the order. While he’s still looking for consistency against right-handed pitchers – he was hitting .208 with a .610 OPS against them before his two hits on Monday – he was an easy inclusion in Alex corathe line-up card with its strong numbers at home paired with its defense in right field.
“He made some adjustments,” Cora said. “He was actually more disciplined, although he doesn’t walk a lot, but he controls the stick and this guy is a player. We know what he brings to the equation defensively, but when he’s locked up it’s fun to watch. He crushed that ball, but besides the home run he controls his at-bats and we’re very happy where he is offensively at the moment.
A rare quiet day
Other than Renfroe, the Red Sox didn’t generate much at home in Monday’s loss to starter Astros. Jose urquidy, who held them to just three hits in six innings. The Red Sox did not have a base runner before JD Martinez walked two outings in the fourth and was unsuccessful until Christian Vazquezdouble two outs in the fifth.
The Red Sox struck out 12 goals, including nine against Urquidy, as they failed to put the ball into play and create competitive bats.
“Today this guy was really good,” Cora said of Urquidy. “He did a good job breeding, he did a good job widening the area with the off-speed stuff. We don’t like to scratch. We know when we click, put the ball in play, we didn’t have too much traffic either, so it was hard to score points, but we don’t like it. We don’t like it.
“We have to control the area. We love to swing, we know that, but at the same time, when we are able to control the strike zone, it doesn’t happen. Today he did a good job developing us and developing us down and I think it was a good afternoon for him.
A unique home run
Jose altuve It looked like he had just kicked a routine ball when he made contact with a change from Rodriguez in the third, but it kind of left the court in what was something of an unlucky home run abandoned by the left-hander of the Red Sox.
The ball hit the front of the Crawford Boxes – the short left-field porch of Minute Maid Park – and appeared for a 330-foot homerun. According to Statcast, the ball was only released at two baseball fields – Minute Maid Park and Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay.
“You’re not going to see an uglier home run the rest of the season,” baffled Dennis eckersley said on the NESN show. “Look at that swing. If it’s not a Minute Maid home run… it’s scary.
Cordero starts hot
It’s a small sample, but Franchy Cordero has been striking well since his demotion to Triple-A Worcester last week. The outfielder is 5 for 12 (.417) with a pair of homers and five RBIs in three games for the WooSox. The early results are certainly encouraging for Cordero, who is getting much-needed constant beats after missing the start of spring training and struggling for the first two months.
“While it is important to us in the present, it is very important to us in the future,” Cora said last week. “He hasn’t played a lot in recent years. In order for him to go out there and have at-bats, consistent at-bats, keep improving his swing decisions and controlling the strike zone, that’s very important. …
“The thinking process is that we need him to get better. We need him to catch bats. … He will continue to play there every day. He will play on the left, some on the right as well. I think it will benefit him in the long run. …
Red Sox outlook Jarren Duran and Triston Casas were both in Team America’s roster in their first Baseball Americas Olympic qualifying game on Monday against Nicaragua. Duran was beating second and playing on central pitch, while Casas was seventh in the roster and playing on first base.