SAN DIEGO -- Hunter Renfroe's patience set up his power, and his power supplied the Padres' only run Sunday.Renfroe's mammoth home run provided all of San Diego's offense in a 3-1 loss to the Rockies. The projected 438-foot shot was the second-longest of Renfroe's career and fourth-farthest homer by a
SAN DIEGO -- Hunter Renfroe's patience set up his power, and his power supplied the Padres' only run Sunday.
Renfroe's mammoth home run provided all of San Diego's offense in a 3-1 loss to the Rockies. The projected 438-foot shot was the second-longest of Renfroe's career and fourth-farthest homer by a Padres hitter in 2017, according to Statcast™. With a 109.6 mph exit velocity, it was his third-hardest homer.
The solo shot came on a 3-1 pitch from Colorado's Jeff Hoffman in the fifth inning, one of the few times a San Diego batter was ahead in the count Sunday. Renfroe sent an up-and-in fastball to the third deck of the Western Metal Building for his 11th home run. Only one has come while Renfroe was behind in the count.
"That's been a consistent theme," Padres manager Andy Green said. "He gets ahead in the count, gets in a position where he gets a fastball or a pitch he can drive. Then he puts a really good swing on it."
Renfroe, though, said he doesn't change his approach too much when the count is in his favor. He posted a .216/.231/.392 line in the season's opening month, walking only twice. While drawing 15 walks in May, Renfroe hit .255/.358/.511. Sunday's home run ended an 0-for-9 start to June.
"They've been coming into the zone a lot more here lately," he said. "I hit a little stretch here where they've been pitching me really well. I tip my hat to them and just go about my day and keep working hard."
Despite Sunday's contest being the first time rookies Hoffman and Renfroe have faced each other in the Majors, they squared off multiple times last season in the minors, Renfroe said. They were also teammates for the U.S. Team in last year's Futures Game at Petco Park.
Renfroe said he had "a little dinky double" and a spattering of singles against Hoffman, but never a home run before Sunday. Reminded of the moonshot he hit to the roof of the Western Metal Building last September, Renfroe said, "Today's was pretty good."
"It didn't go as high, so I would probably say this one went farther," he said "But I hit both of them really well."
Outside of Renfroe's homer, the Padres did little offensively as Hoffman allowed just the one run in his seven innings of work, striking out a career-high nine. Renfroe noted Hoffman's curveball, a pitch San Diego hitters have struggled with, led to his success. Green said it will be important for the Padres to have better understanding of the strike zone as the season goes on.
"We continued to expand the zone," Green said. "If we continue to do that, it's going to be hard to beat quality pitching."
As Renfroe has proven, patience is the key for the young Padres, in more ways than one.
Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.