SAN DIEGO -- With two of his young Padres sitting on 20 home runs, manager Andy Green won't handicap the race between William Myers and Hunter Renfroe for the team lead."That's like asking me to pick between my kids," Green said.One member of the Padres' power couple has homered in
SAN DIEGO -- With two of his young Padres sitting on 20 home runs, manager Andy Green won't handicap the race between William Myers and Hunter Renfroe for the team lead.
"That's like asking me to pick between my kids," Green said.
One member of the Padres' power couple has homered in each of the San Diego's past six games, entering Wednesday's matchup with the Mets. The hot stretch made Myers and Renfroe only the second pair of Padres with 20 home runs each through 100 games.
After Myers homered in three straight games last weekend to reach 20, the pair was more than two home runs apart for the first time since May 24. Renfroe quickly answered, homering in three consecutive at-bats across the team's next two games, on Monday and Tuesday.
"He can heat up like that at any time," Myers said.
The first of Renfroe's three straight blasts landed on top of Petco Park's Western Metal Supply Co. Building, traveling a Statcast-projected 462 feet. Among right-handers who have hit at least 25 fly balls to the "dead pull" area of the field, Renfroe's average distance of 362 ties Manny Machado for third in baseball behind All-Stars Paul Goldschmidt and Giancarlo Stanton.
"It's no secret to anybody: Hunter's got a ton of pop," Green said. "... There's very few in the game that have power like him."
Myers' 13th and Renfroe's 15th both came June 16. When Myers broke a tie with his 16th on June 29, Renfroe again brought them even with a 444-foot shot two innings later. They stayed deadlocked before Myers went yard July 18 while Renfroe was on the disabled list with a stiff neck, but in his first game back, Renfroe tied it up.
Myers, the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year, is still only 26. Renfroe, 25, seems a certainty to set San Diego's rookie home run record. Their battle could become one of the most exciting parts of 2017 for the franchise, which has seen only three duos record 30 homers each in a season. Better yet, Myers and Renfroe are under team control through 2022.
"There's definitely a lot of power potential here," Myers said. "Guys like me and him can really hit the ball out of the ballpark, so it's pretty cool to have a guy like that in the lineup as well."
Both said they don't put much thought into the competition, with what Green called "friendly banter" providing the only indication of the title's importance. But on the field, Myers and Renfroe certainly seem to feed off each other's power.
Renfroe declined to pin his recent surge on Myers' three-game streak, adding he looks forward to sharing a lineup with the 2016 All-Star for the foreseeable future.
"We want to stick around," Renfroe said. "We have good faith in each other."
With Myers and Renfroe set to be Padres for at least the following five seasons, the race isn't likely to end after 2017.
"You've got pop in the middle of your batting order," Green said. "Those guys could very easily be our guys for a long time. Wouldn't have any complaints from me."
Catcher Austin Hedges is progressing toward a return from the seven-day concussion disabled list. Hedges took batting practice on the field and caught a flat-ground throwing session Wednesday. He will not be activated until he catches a bullpen session, but will not require a rehab assignment, Green said.
Solarte set for rehab
Padres second baseman Yangervis Solarte is headed to Triple-A El Paso on Thursday, where he'll begin a rehab stint. Solarte, a switch-hitter, sustained a strained left oblique a month ago, but has been cleared to swing from both sides of the plate. He'd previously had trouble hitting right-handed.
Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.