OAKLAND -- The A's struggling offense received a much-needed boost, as Khris Davis was reinstated off the disabled list on Thursday. The slugger was the designated hitter and batted cleanup in the 7-3 series finale win over the Rays.Reliever Carlos Ramirez was optioned to Triple-A Nashville.Davis is a key cog
OAKLAND -- The A's struggling offense received a much-needed boost, as Khris Davis was reinstated off the disabled list on Thursday. The slugger was the designated hitter and batted cleanup in the 7-3 series finale win over the Rays.
Reliever Carlos Ramirez was optioned to Triple-A Nashville.
Davis is a key cog in the middle of the A's lineup, and he had started all 47 games before suffering a strained right groin on May 20 at Toronto while running out a ground ball. He was placed on the DL on May 23, with the move retroactive to May 21.
Davis' return is good news for an A's lineup that has scored four runs or fewer in each of its past 14 home games. They were shut out in two of the first three games of the series against the Rays, including a 6-0 defeat on Wednesday. In Thursday's victory, Davis went 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk.
Manager Bob Melvin wasn't sure if the A's would have fared differently with Davis in the lineup, but he acknowledged that the slugger's presence helps the club.
"Just having him in the lineup is a comfort to everybody else," Melvin said. "The lineup plays out a little differently with him in it, and to an extent maybe there's a little psychology to it that, 'Maybe I don't have to do a little bit more than is expected of me.'"
Melvin added that the A's have been pressing at the plate of late. Besides Jed Lowrie, the lineup has collectively seen its average slip as the 10-game homestand nears its conclusion.
"It's been a collective effort, which typically happens over the course of a season, and whether or not Khris had something to do with that, guys putting a little bit of pressure on themselves -- it's not just one guy," Melvin said.
Davis is batting .235 and leads the A's with 13 home runs, which is also tied for eighth in the American League. He has hit 98 home runs over the past three years, the most in the Majors.
"It's going to be a huge boost to us," shortstop Chad Pinder said. "Obviously, you guys see what he's done for us over the past three years. Any time you get a guy of that caliber back into your lineup, there is a little sigh of relief."
Melvin cautioned that it might take Davis a few at-bats to get his rhythm back, but Pinder expects the slugger to return to form quickly.
"We're all looking forward to having him back, and he won't skip a beat," Pinder said. "He's going to be Khris Davis."
Ramirez was claimed off waivers by the A's last week, and he was called up to the big leagues after a few days at Triple-A. He'll be sent back to Nashville after making his A's debut on Wednesday, pitching two scoreless innings of relief against the Rays.
Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.