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Renfroe: MLB asked Red Sox to stop testing for COVID-19 amid outbreak

Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Boston Red Sox outfielder Hunter Renfroe says Major League Baseball asked the team to stop testing for COVID-19 during its recent outbreak.

"MLB, they ... told us (to) stop testing and just treat the symptoms," Renfroe told WEEI's "Merloni & Fauria" on Thursday. "And we're like, 'No, we're gonna ... figure out what's going on, and try to keep this thing under control.'"

When asked directly if the league told the team to stop testing, Renfroe replied, "Yes."

MLB was quick to shoot down Renfroe's claims.

"He is completely wrong and inaccurate," a league spokesperson said, according to Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe.

Additionally, an MLB official told the Globe's Pete Abraham that 1,884 tests have been administered to the Red Sox since Aug. 26.

"We have been following MLB's COVID-19 protocols all season long," the Red Sox said in a statement obtained by Chris Cotillo of "We have consulted closely with them on everything we've done and continue to test, and their medical staff has been very supportive."

The Red Sox have been dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak in their clubhouse for nearly two weeks. Eight players - Xander Bogaerts, Martin Perez, Matt Barnes, Christian Arroyo, Hirokazu Sawamura, Yairo Munoz, Jarren Duran, and Nick Pivetta - are on the COVID-19 IL. Two staff members also tested positive.

The Red Sox are below the 85% vaccination threshold in their clubhouse, though some of the players who tested positive are vaccinated.

Renfroe, who played hero for the undermanned club earlier this week, also said the outbreak could be traced back in part to the fully vaccinated Enrique Hernandez.

"Obviously we had a pretty big outbreak, I think mostly because (Enrique) came on the plane and ... was on the plane without us knowing (he had COVID)," Renfroe said.

He added: "He was vaccinated, and the guys who are vaccinated don't really get tested. So he came on the plane, got some other guys sick, and (the outbreak) kind of moved forward from there.

"Obviously it's not (Enrique's) fault. He can't do anything about it."

The Red Sox entered Thursday holding one of the two American League wild-card spots. On Friday, they'll start a six-game road trip that includes stops in Chicago and Seattle.

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