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Renfroe flips into seats for catch, loses hat

MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN FRANCISCO -- The wall arrived quickly for Hunter Renfroe on Andrew McCutchen's eighth inning popup Sunday at AT&T Park.

On a breezy afternoon, McCutchen lofted a fly ball down the right-field line, where Renfroe pursued it at full speed. Renfroe, the baseball and the wall all arrived at the same time. The Padres right fielder tumbled head-over-heels into the seats. He emerged a second later, having left his hat in the stands. He kept the baseball, though. Despite an eventual 3-2 loss to the Giants in 11 innings, it was arguably San Diego's top defensive highlight this season.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The wall arrived quickly for Hunter Renfroe on Andrew McCutchen's eighth inning popup Sunday at AT&T Park.

On a breezy afternoon, McCutchen lofted a fly ball down the right-field line, where Renfroe pursued it at full speed. Renfroe, the baseball and the wall all arrived at the same time. The Padres right fielder tumbled head-over-heels into the seats. He emerged a second later, having left his hat in the stands. He kept the baseball, though. Despite an eventual 3-2 loss to the Giants in 11 innings, it was arguably San Diego's top defensive highlight this season.

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"I knew I had a play on it," Renfroe said. "It just kept blowing toward the fans there. I knew I had to run for it, and I knew the wall was coming up quick. I hit the wall there, and I was just trying to spin off of it and do the best I can not to get injured."

There might not be a trickier setting in baseball for Renfroe's catch. The AT&T Park wind is notorious for playing tricks on such fly balls. Plus, Renfroe needed to contend with the visiting bullpen mounds as well.

"You do whatever you can to not run into [the wall] full force," Renfroe said. "That's everybody's nightmare. That's how people get really badly injured. You're trying to catch the ball, but you're also trying to not get killed."

Renfroe's catch helped right-hander Kirby Yates strand the go-ahead run on second base (and lower his ERA to 0.84). Of course, that runner was only there because Renfroe couldn't corral Brandon Belt's liner into the gap. It nicked off his glove for a double instead.

Renfroe only needed one batter to atone.

"I was nice and warmed up from the first one," Renfroe said. "I needed an inch longer glove. But I was able to get it done and help Kirby out."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Hunter Renfroe