Hunter Renfroe is heating up for the Boston Red Sox.
In an 11-7 win against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night that started and ended with Boston’s bats, the outfielder was just a triple short of the cycle. He went 3-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs and the 100th home run of his career.
Over his last three games going back to the series against the Texas Rangers, Renfroe is 6-for-12 with two home runs and five RBIs.
“It started in Texas, right?” manager Alex Cora said of Renfroe’s production during a postgame video conference. “He’s in a good place right now. It looks like he’s having confidence, you know? He’s seeing the ball better, and it seems like good things are gonna happen.”
Renfroe says he remained confident in his approach prior to this hot streak, waiting for some balls to find green. He hopes they continue to fall for him, of course, but he’s content soaking this performance up for now.
“Anytime you can get a big milestone, 100th career home run, 200th career home run, 500th RBI, it means a lot,” Renfroe said on a postgame video conference. “Those are not easily done. You know, people that come in league and stay in the league, those are the guys that really get to do that. And the guys that just come in and go out, you know, it’s tough to get 100 home runs or 500 RBIs or whatever. Any kind of milestone needs to be celebrated in baseball and I think it’s awesome.”
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Tigers:
— Thanks to Boston’s bats, Nick Pivetta’s start was decent enough for it to get by despite the ensuing bullpen blunder. But the starter fought through long at-bats.
He finished his day after five innings and 100 pitches, 65 of which were thrown for strikes. He gave up three earned runs off six hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.
“Nick was okay today,” Cora said. “I mean, he battled with control, took some long at-bats and it feels like he wasn’t as aggressive in the strike zone like the last two. He gave us a chance to win, but we seen him better, and we’ll get back to that.”
Pivetta wasn’t satisfied with himself either, despite earning the win on the mound.
“I really wish I would have limited pitches in a game, you know got ahead of guys a couple more times, use my breaking ball a little bit more, my change up more, you know, to be able to get into that six, seven things.”
— The Red Sox seemed like they couldn’t miss making contact and putting the ball in play against the Tigers. Ultimately, though, they needed every run as Detroit clawed its way back after the bullpen took over for Boston.
But with 14 hits and four home runs, while only two members failed to get on base, the Red Sox managed to get it done yet again.
“It was a fun night for the offense. We needed all of that. So we put some good swings, we were relentless, we put the little play early on, right? And that’s what we’re trying to do. We use the big part of the field and when you do that, big things are gonna happen,” Cora said.
For Pivetta in a so-so start, that production is important.
“It’s incredible what I’m seeing here, they’re doing a really great job every single day, going out, grinding at-bats, and when you get a four-spot in the first inning, you know, it takes a lot of pressure off you,” Pivetta said.
— Kike Hernandez had himself a nice little game, and probably felt great after his eighth-inning home run capped off a 1-for-3 day at the plate with two runs, an RBI and two walks.
The homer gave the Red Sox some much-needed insurance, following up his walk to lead off the game and get Boston off to its four-run start in the first.
“It starts with walks, you know,” Cora said. “He controlled the strike zone and then put a big swing on it. That’s what it’s all about, we do believe that he can do the job, he didn’t try to do too much today. He got us going and it was a good night for him.”
— Two more games against Detroit complete the series with Wednesday’s first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.