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Rest rescinded, K. Davis finds spark at plate

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- Khris Davis was supposed to get Sunday off to focus on getting his mind right. In the end, him playing may be just the thing he needed to get back on track.

Davis wasn't originally in A's manager Bob Melvin's lineup, but when scheduled starter Mark Canha caught a stomach bug, Davis was reinserted at 11 a.m. and had a big day, going 3-for-4 with a homer, a double and three RBIs. But the A's lost to the Nationals, 11-10, at the Coliseum.

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OAKLAND -- Khris Davis was supposed to get Sunday off to focus on getting his mind right. In the end, him playing may be just the thing he needed to get back on track.

Davis wasn't originally in A's manager Bob Melvin's lineup, but when scheduled starter Mark Canha caught a stomach bug, Davis was reinserted at 11 a.m. and had a big day, going 3-for-4 with a homer, a double and three RBIs. But the A's lost to the Nationals, 11-10, at the Coliseum.

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"Sometimes it works out that way," Melvin said. "You think you're off, and the next thing you know, you're back on, and you go out there and get a few hits, and I think that's going to be a key game for him. He had good swings throughout the game and saw the ball really well, so that's a good sign for him."

Davis had been 3-for-23 in six games this week with 14 strikeouts entering Sunday. He felt he was too "result-oriented" in the past couple of games, something he didn't feel Sunday.

"Honestly, I was just taking the approach of just going out there and helping the team rather than focusing on the results," Davis said. "It just cleared my head so I could go out and play ball. It helped a lot, just to know I can relax a little."

Davis blasted a double off the wall in left-center to lead off the second inning and scored the game's first run on a groundout. According to Statcast™, Davis had an exit velocity of 107.5 mph on the extra-base hit.

Video: WSH@OAK: Healy plates Davis with a groundout

After the Nationals scored three in the sixth, Davis got under a hanging offspeed pitch in the seventh and pulled it, hitting the left-field foul pole around two-thirds of the way up for a two-run shot, tying the game at 3.

On his approach against Nats starter Tanner Roark in the seventh, Davis said, "Be aggressive and look for a good pitch. He gave it to me early, so I just put a good swing on it and didn't miss it or foul it off."

The homer was Davis' 17th of the season, moving him one behind the Yankees' Aaron Judge for tops in the Majors. He added a single at the beginning of the A's six-run ninth, raising his average 11 points on the day to .226. Even with the loss, Davis feels his day can help him going forward.

"It just helps me keep my mind right," Davis said. "I'm battling like some other guys in here, but to have a game like that helps me to relax a little bit."

And despite Davis' recent struggles, A's catcher Stephen Vogt's belief in him hasn't wavered.

"He's shown us over the last year and a half that, even when he's going through a tough time, he's one swing away from changing the game," Vogt said. "We always have a lot of faith in him, and it showed today."

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland.

Oakland Athletics, Khris Davis