Hunter Renfroe only needed to hit one home run to beat the Dodgers tonight, but new Padres right fielder wanted to absolutely destroy them. He was responsible for all seven of the team’s runs, bookending his game with bombs in his first and last at bats. The first was plenty impressive, and the three runs would have secured the win with room to spare. But his grand slam in the eighth inning was a rocket to the deepest part of the park. It’s a tantalizing taste of the youngster’s potential, and something we’ll hopefully be seeing a lot of in seasons to come.
Renfroe’s defense, on the other hand, could still use a little work. LA nearly got on the board right away when he misread the ball off Chase Utley’s bat. The dirtiest Dodger turned it into a leadoff double, but Paul Clemens managed to strand Utley has he retired the next three batters. In the bottom half of the first, Jon Jay grounded a one-out single into left, and then Yangervis Solarte lined a two-out base hit into right. That’s when Renfroe struck, nearly taking Kenta Maeda into the second deck in left field.
While Utley failed to cross the plate in the first, he made it around in one fell swoop in the third. Clemens grooved him a fastball, and Utley sent it all the way past the right field home run deck. But it was the only run Clemens allowed in five innings of work. In that time, he gave up three hits without a single walk. He got pulled before he could do his usual trick of falling apart in the sixth, and the bullpen shut the Dodgers down for the next four innings.
It was the eighth inning when Renfroe went yard again. The first two Padres fell, but Jay started a rally with a bunt single. He got an extra base when Justin Turner air mailed the throw to first, but he didn’t need it. Dave Roberts sent Louis Coleman to the mound, and he promptly walked the next two Friars. Renfroe worked a full count, and then he let loose, hitting his first grand slam to center field.
Luis Perdomo must be hoping he gets that same kind of run support tomorrow. He takes the mound in game two at 7:10 PM.