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MLB, Red Sox dispute Hunter Renfroe's claim that league said to stop COVID-19 testing

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The Boston Red Sox recently went through a major outbreak of COVID-19 cases, with a total of 11 playersincluding star shortstop Xander Bogaerts – and two coaches being quarantined due to positive tests or contact tracing.

However, the situation took an unexpected twist on Thursday when outfielder Hunter Renfroe alleged in a radio interview that Major League Baseball officials wanted the team to downplay the severity of the outbreak.

"We've been going through a lot of things with COVID," Renfroe told Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria on WEEI radio, "and MLB has basically told us to stop testing and just treat the symptoms. We're like, 'No. We're gonna figure out what's going and try to keep this thing under control.'"

Both the Red Sox and Major League Baseball on Thursday afternoon denied that any COVID-19 protocols were ignored.

“We have been following MLB’s COVID-19 protocols all season long. We have consulted closely with them on everything we’ve done and continue to test and their medical staff has been very supportive,” a Red Sox spokesperson told MassLive.com.

An MLB spokesperson characterized the outfielder's comments as "absolutely wrong."

Red Sox outfielder Hunter Renfroe, left, and third baseman Rafael Devers celebrate Wednesday's win over Tampa Bay Rays that moved Boston into the AL's top wild-card playoff spot.
Red Sox outfielder Hunter Renfroe, left, and third baseman Rafael Devers celebrate Wednesday's win over Tampa Bay Rays that moved Boston into the AL's top wild-card playoff spot.

Renfroe said the outbreak stemmed from a vaccinated player (utilityman Kike Hernandez) contracting a breakthrough case of COVID-19 and then unknowingly infecting others on the team plane.

Despite the hardships, the Red Sox have won 10 of their last 17 games, many in dramatic fashion, to take over the top wild-card playoff spot in the American League -- a half-game ahead of the New York Yankees.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Red Sox told by MLB to stop COVID tests, OF Hunter Renfroe alleges