CHICAGO -- Here's the first bit of good news for Matt Davidson coming from the White Sox 11-2 victory over the Tigers on Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field: The designated hitter was able to play an entire game.Davidson's only other contest for the White Sox came on June 30, 2016,
CHICAGO -- Here's the first bit of good news for Matt Davidson coming from the White Sox 11-2 victory over the Tigers on Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field: The designated hitter was able to play an entire game.
Davidson's only other contest for the White Sox came on June 30, 2016, when he broke his right foot while rounding first base after a run-scoring single in the fourth inning.
But here's the even better news for the 26-year-old Davidson. After dealing with two rough seasons at Triple-A Charlotte and rebuilding his swing not once but twice, the perseverance paid off with a three-run homer, a triple and three runs scored. He became the first White Sox player to record a triple and a home run in his season debut since Wayne Nordhagen in 1980.
"I just try not to dwell on it," said Davidson, referring to his injury last year but also representing his battle to get this big league chance. "I didn't even realize it until probably, maybe my third at-bat, after I got done I came back when I started down the tunnel I thought, 'Man, I remember I broke my foot when I was running down this tunnel.' I was making sure it was good to go. I didn't put a lot of thought into it."
"He had some really good at-bats today," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He was ready."
Cody Asche started at designated hitter on Opening Day with right-handed throwing Justin Verlander on the mound for Detroit. Davidson faced left-hander Matthew Boyd in Game 2.
Geovany Soto also debuted Thursday after Omar Narvaez caught Jose Quintana in the opener, and did so by hitting of two home runs, his first multi-homer effort since 2011. While both Davidson and Soto connected consistently, don't look for Renteria to anoint set starters at their spots in the early going.
"I'd be very hard-pressed to try and sit anybody for an extended period of time," Renteria said. "We're trying to allow guys to get comfortable."
Boyd tried to beat Davidson on a 3-1 four-seamer with one out in the second, but he drove the pitch the opposite way for a triple. In the fourth, with Avisail Garcia and Todd Frazier on base, Davidson connected on a first-pitch slider from Anibal Sanchez for a 428-foot drive to left-center.
"Just left up the first pitch, and I took care of it," Davidson said. "You're always looking fastball, and he just kind of left it up there and you react."
"There may be a couple pitches, the hanging slider that Davidson hit out, a few pitches we'd rather have back," said Detroit catcher James McCann of Sanchez. "But that's with every outing."
It was a healthy initial showing in what could be a major 2017 opportunity for Davidson.
"Like last year, you get to a good spot where I thought I was, then you break your foot," Davidson said. "You take it day by day. That's something Ricky preaches: taking the process, taking your work, every single day, every at-bat."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.