Padres outfielder Hunter Renfroe drilled a go-ahead grand slam off of Brewers reliever Joakim Soria in the top of the ninth inning on Thursday afternoon, helping the Padres turn a 4-3 deficit into a 7-4 lead.
Closer Corey Knebel started the inning, but issued three consecutive walks to start the inning. After allowing an RBI single to Travis Jankowski, Soria relieved Knebel. He managed to get Eric Hosmer to fly out to right field, shallow enough to prevent the tying run from scoring. However, after falling behind 1-2, Renfroe demolished a 94 MPH fastball from Soria, sending into the seats in left field for a go-ahead grand slam.
That’s the fourth grand slam of Renfroe’s career and his second this year. The Padres went on to win 8-4. The Cubs are off so the Brewers lose a half-game and fall to two games out of first place in the NL Central.
Renfroe, 26, went 2-for-4 with a walk and a double along with the grand slam. On the season, he’s hitting .250/.315/.491 with 12 home runs, 39 RBI, and 31 runs scored in 254 plate appearances.
The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.