ARLINGTON -- Few ballparks can contain A’s slugger Khris Davis right now -- least of all Globe Life Park, where his name may as well appear on the deed in the stadium’s farewell year, given how he continues to own the place.
Davis hit his Major League-leading 10th homer of the season -- and his 16th in 28 career games in Arlington -- to lead a comeback 8-6 victory over the Rangers on Friday night.
Asked after the game if he was aware how good his numbers are in Arlington, Davis politely demurred, saying, “Not really,” but no amount of modesty can hide the obvious: The guy simply rakes here, and everyone involved knows it.
“A big, shocking event,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said sarcastically of Davis’ homer.
“It’s kind of just old news to us,” Oakland catcher Josh Phegley said. “It’s just like a matter of time every time he comes up, especially with how hot he’s been. ... We just feel like with this park, he’s where he belongs, he’s right at home. We fully expect that to happen.”
Davis has eight homers and 20 RBIs in his last 10 games at the Rangers’ stadium. He has five homers in his last three games on this road trip, including back-to-back two-homer games against the Orioles before coming to Texas.
Davis said his approach in the pivotal at-bat against reliever Chris Martin, with one out and the bases empty, and the score tied at 6 in the eighth inning, was the “same as always.”
“I look for the first good one and put a good swing on it,” Davis said.
Martin found out the hard way what Davis was waiting for.
“I feel like he was looking for the pitch to hit it like that,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “He has unbelievable power to all fields. For him to hit a first-pitch slider, it showed me he was obviously looking for it or saw it pretty well."
Davis’ success against the Rangers has not been limited to road games; he has 29 career homers against Texas, second most among active players (the Angels' Mike Trout has 30). Twenty-eight of Davis’ homers against the Rangers have come since the beginning of 2016 -- 12 more than any other Rangers opponent during that stretch.
The five-run hole was the largest deficit the A’s have overcome this season.
“We battled back good,” Davis said. “I didn’t think we were out of the game at all, even though we got down early. There was no sense of panic in there. We just kept battling and before you know it, we were ahead.”
The A’s have been mashing the ball through the first eight games of this road trip, with 12 homers in the last three games and six consecutive multi-homer games, tying a club record.
Oakland is hitting .297 (97-for-327) so far on this season-long 10-game road trip, helping a starting rotation that has a 7.55 ERA on the jaunt to Houston, Baltimore and Texas. The A’s have won four straight to pull even at 4-4 on the trip.
“It’s an attitude with this team … we always feel like we’re one swing away from being in the game and when you’ve got 15 outs left, that’s plenty,” Phegley said.
Fiers disappointed after rocky outing
A’s starter Mike Fiers allowed six runs for the second consecutive start, giving up seven hits, including two homers.
Fiers went five innings -- an improvement from his brief 1 2/3-inning performance in Houston last time out -- but he gave up three straight hits to start the game and inflated his pitch count to 100, leading to another early departure.
“It’s tough, not getting off on the right foot,” Fiers said of the season thus far. “I feel very inconsistent, location’s off, not really attacking, I feel like I’m getting behind in the count, putting them in great hitters’ counts. In the big leagues, it’s not too easy to put yourself in a hole and get out of it every time. They’re making me pay. I haven’t been leading this team, I haven’t been stepping it up and making pitches and I’m getting burned for it. Luckily, we’re swinging the bats well and they keep picking me up time after time, but there’s got to be a time where I’ve got to turn this around, and I will.”