There was reason to believe the A's slugger. Two reasons, in fact. Twice, Davis singled in the late innings of Tuesday night's loss at Dodger Stadium, putting an 0-for-12 spell to rest. Had he woken from his slumber?
"I think something clicked last night, and when that happens," Davis explained, "you just want to try to hold on to that."
Merely hours later, he swatted the first pitch he saw from Dodgers starter Alex Wood for a two-run homer, putting a 16-6 onslaught in motion to help the A's salvage a two-game Interleague series split.
The runs marked a season high for the A's, who followed Davis' lead and extinguished their offensive blues with 21 hits. Davis had three of them, not letting up after his blast, which was his first since Opening Day.
"It felt like a coming-out party, just knocks everywhere, a lot of momentum on our side," Davis said. "We just gotta keep it rolling."
The left fielder also led off the decisive fourth with a double and starter Daniel Mengden added a broken-bat single for his first career RBI. Marcus Semien, who finished with four RBIs, widened the lead with a two-run single that chased Wood, who was charged with seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Mengden got through five to pick up his first win of the season, allowing four runs (three earned) and seven hits.
Not since Sept. 11, 2013, in Minnesota had the A's tallied at least 21 hits. In addition to Davis, Jed Lowrie, Jonathan Lucroy and Matt Olson, who didn't even start the game, all had three hits. Lowrie capped the scoring with a three-run homer in the ninth, joining Semien in the four-RBI club. Matt Chapman also homered, a two-run shot for his team-leading fourth of the season, and finished with three RBIs to his name.
Eleven A's players notched at least one hit in the bashing, after collectively recording a total of eight hits in their previous two games.
"There were a lot of big hits," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "The at-bats were spread out, and for a little bit of a struggle there for a few games, and off a really good pitcher, today our at-bats came to life. We expected it to, but I didn't think we'd get 21 hits. We feel like the strength of the team, at least through the offense, is the length of the lineup, that we can score any inning and anybody can contribute. It was literally everybody."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Trayce erases Puig's would-be homer: Oakland center fielder Trayce Thompson, brother of Golden State's Klay, was designated for assignment by the Dodgers at the end of Spring Training. He paid them back for the cut by stealing a two-out, two-run homer from pinch-hitter Yasiel Puig by reaching over the wall to make a spectacular catch in the sixth inning. Puig tipped his helmet to his former teammate to acknowledge the play. Batted balls with Puig's combination of 105-mph exit velocity and 24-degree launch angle have gone for home runs approximately 78 percent of the time since Statcast™ started tracking that data in 2015. A home run would have cut the A's lead to 9-6.
"Certainly Trayce's play in center field was the play of the game defensively," Melvin said, "because it's a different game if that ball goes out." More >
Gifts galore: Defensive miscues led to runs for both clubs. Wood failed to cover first base on Mark Canha's infield single in the first, and Davis homered with two outs two batters later. In the bottom of the inning, a Joc Pederson sky-high fly ball dropped for a gift double when Oakland right fielder Stephen Piscotty and Thompson both appeared to lose site of it. Pederson then went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Corey Seager groundout. In Oakland's five-run fifth, Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley extended the inning with an errant flip to second, and Wood failed to back up the plate on center fielder Chris Taylor's throwing error.
QUOTABLE "It felt great just to play baseball again. Last year was a rollercoaster for me. Not a lot of highs, and so it just feels good to be here and try to help these guys get a win every night." -- Thompson, who also singled in the ninth for his first hit with the A's
WHAT'S NEXT The A's will enjoy an off-day in Seattle on Thursday before beginning play with the Mariners at Safeco Field on Friday. Right-hander Andrew Triggs, who pitched to a 2.53 ERA in his first two starts, gets the ball in the 7:10 p.m. PT series opener. Seattle will counter with right-hander Mike Leake.