Pair of former Padres shining in bright lights of ALCS

As former members of the Padres organization, both Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe are having key contributions for the Rays in the ALCS.

Traded in separate deals over the winter, both Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot have shined on the ALCS’s biggest stage. And both guys are now one win away from going to the World Series. The pair of former Padres were, as noted, traded this past offseason–Margot for Pagan and Renfroe for Pham.

Of course, other players were involved in those deals, but those were the primary acquisitions. However, Jake Cronenworth might look a word.

Margot had a career-day in Game 2 against the Astros, smashing a three-run homer after the first inning was extended because of an error. That’s what has been so remarkable about this group of Tampa Bay Rays. Give them free outs, and they will make you pay for it. They’ve consistently done more with less and even better that they’re doing this against the Astros.

“Manny, he has really turned it on with the home run,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said of the outfielder, via ESPN. “We didn’t see many during the regular season, but I think he’s got now three huge home runs for us here in the postseason.

And then, of course, the ALCS talk has been Margot’s incredible catch one inning later. With two men on and George Springer at the plate, the Astros’ outfielder sliced the ball down the right-field line. Margot, who spent 3+ seasons playing at Petco Park, had the biggest advantage on this play, as he made the catch at the fence before toppling over it.

But if you ask Margot which play he liked better, he’s going offense.

“Definitely the home run,” Margot said, again via ESPN. “The home run didn’t hurt, and it definitely helped us gain the lead.”

Love it. Team-first guy.

Renfroe was the star of Game 3, hitting a pinch-hit two-run double, making it a 5-1 Rays lead in the sixth inning. He also had two pretty impressive catches. Again, a guy familiar with how the ball flies off the bat in a roomy Petco Park. Major advantage goes to Renfroe.