While the Red Sox found themselves on the wrong side of an 11-2 blowout against the Astros to close out their month of May, Hunter Renfroe at least ended his month on a solid note at Minute Maid Park on Monday evening.
Batting out of the nine-hole, Renfroe went 2-for-3 with a double (his 10th of the year), a home run (his seventh of the year) and one RBI (his 23rd of the year) while scoring his side’s only two runs of the contest.
The homer the 29-year-old hit came when this ballgame was already out of reach in the eighth inning, but it was still one that traveled 419 feet to deep left-center field and had an exit velocity of 108.4 mph off the bat on a hanging slider from Astros reliever Nivaldo Rodriguez.
It’s fitting that Renfroe would end his month the same way he began it: by going deep at a Texas ballpark. He mashed his second big fly of the year against the Rangers at Globe Life Field back on May 1.
Prior to the calendar flipping to May, the right-handed slugger was carrying with him a .167/.235/.250 slash line over his first 19 games with the Red Sox.
Since May 1, however, Renfroe has flipped the switch and completely turned things around for himself in regards to offensive production. The defensive production was already there.
Including Monday’s 2-for-3-showing in Houston, Renfroe posted an impressive .319/.333/.604 slash line to go along with eight doubles, six homers, and 15 RBI over 24 games (93 plate appearances) in May.
As noted by The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, the Mississippi native is currently riding a four-game hitting streak in which he is batting .692 (9-for-13) with two homers and five doubles.
“It started in Texas, right? When he hit that big home run and hit some balls the other way,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said when reflecting on Renfroe’s solid month of work. “He’s made some adjustments. He’s actually been more disciplined, although he’s not walking that much, but he’s controlling the at-bat.
“This guy, he’s a gamer,” added Cora. “We know what he brings to the equation defensively. But when he’s locked in, it’s fun to watch. He crushed that ball. Besides the home run, he’s controlling his at-bats. We’re very pleased with where he’s at offensively right now.
With what he did in May in his back pocket, Renfroe will come into the month of June having raised his line on the season to a more respectable .258/.292/.464. He currently ranks fourth on the team in doubles and home runs and fifth in RBI.
Defensively, Renfroe has been just as advertised and then some. The 6-foot-1, 228 pound outfielder came into play Monday tied for the second-most outfield assists in the majors (5) while putting up +4 defensive runs saved and an UZR/150 (ultimate zone rating per 150 games) of 22.9.
(Picture of Hunter Renfroe: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)