PHOENIX -- Hunter Renfroe home runs come in all shapes and sizes.You like towering, majestic blasts that scrape the sky? Renfroe provided one of those in the fourth inning of the Padres' 10-2 loss to the D-backs on Tuesday night.You like the low-trajectory rockets that exit the park in a
PHOENIX -- Hunter Renfroe home runs come in all shapes and sizes.
You like towering, majestic blasts that scrape the sky? Renfroe provided one of those in the fourth inning of the Padres' 10-2 loss to the D-backs on Tuesday night.
You like the low-trajectory rockets that exit the park in a flash? Renfroe had one of those, too, in the top of the ninth.
Renfroe continued his power surge with a pair of prolific home runs, as he provided all of the Padres' offense for the second consecutive game.
Both homers traveled more than 435 feet, making Renfroe only the second player this season to hit two that far in the same game. He joined Miami's Giancarlo Stanton, who did so on May 7 -- always good company when the topic is long home runs.
"It's just really about getting regular at-bats," Renfroe said of his recent run of success. "Just getting up there, seeing pitches and battling. Rhythm has been good, and I'm just working hard in the cage. It's all kind of coming together now."
In the ninth, D-backs reliever Tom Wilhelmsen challenged Renfroe with a 1-0 fastball down the middle. It left the yard before Wilhelmsen could even turn and watch it. The ball landed three-quarters of the way up the steps at Chase Field, and took one bounce before entering the concourse -- rare territory for home-run hitters.
With an exit velocity of 114 mph, according to Statcast™, it was the hardest ball Renfroe has hit since he was called up last September. At 442 projected feet, it was also the farthest.
Of course, Renfroe's other home run was also impressive. He launched a Robbie Ray fastball down the left-field line at 438 projected feet -- the same distance as his solo shot off the third level of the Western Metal Building at Petco Park on Sunday.
"It's always been in there, the power's never been a doubt," manager Andy Green said. "It's just about consistently working into positive counts."
Much has been made about Renfroe's patience leading to power. Of his 13 home runs, only one has come when he's behind in the count.
Renfroe got off to a dreadful start in April, when he walked just twice in 104 plate appearances and posted a .623 OPS. That number has jumped by 140 points since the start of May -- a stretch in which Renfroe has walked 15 times.
There's a tangible reason for Renfroe's success, and it was on display. Both Ray and Wilhelmsen started Renfroe off with pitches at his ankles. He laid off, forcing them into the strike zone with a fastball.
A month and a half ago, D-backs pitchers had it easy with Renfroe.
"Against Taijuan Walker, the last time I was here [in April], I swung at every fastball he threw me, and didn't even touch one of them," Renfroe said. "That was kind of their way of going about it. They threw me some sliders in the dirt, I was able to lay off and get decent enough pitches to swing at."
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.