Davis puts on show for family with bat, glove

Davis puts on show for family with bat, glove

ANAHEIM -- Not long after his three-run homer broke a tie in the eighth inning and gave the A's a 7-4 comeback win over the Angels on Friday night, Khris Davis admitted he doesn't want to say goodbye to Angel Stadium following the weekend series.

"I'm going to be sad to leave," Davis said from the visiting clubhouse, noting his preference for the kitchen and locker room facilities.

The A's certainly won't let him stay behind.

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Davis leads the team with 18 homers and 49 RBIs. He's homered in each of Oakland's two wins to open this four-game series, with both long balls proving to be game-winners.

"I'm happy," Davis said of his power numbers this season. "I'm just happy that I've had some big ones to help the team win. That's first and foremost."

This time, Davis pummeled a 0-2 fastball from Angels reliever Fernando Salas to left-center to snap a 4-4 tie and send the A's to their third win in their last four games. The ball left the bat at 108 mph and traveled a projected 402 feet, according to Statcast™.

Davis' go-ahead three-run dinger

While the metrics say otherwise, most in the A's dugout initially thought Davis had simply doubled to bring home the go-ahead runs. Even he felt it was going to fall for a double.

"He's got some kind of power," said catcher Stephen Vogt, who took Jered Weaver deep in the first inning. "Off the bat you knew it was going to score at least one, obviously, and then I saw it was in the gap and I was expecting to see it go off the wall, but, man, that thing just got out in a hurry. He's a strong, strong human being. It's a lot of fun to watch him hit the ball a long way."

Over his last 162 regular-season games, dating back to last year, Davis has 43 homers. Since last Aug. 6, he's tied with Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion for the most homers in baseball with 38.

But home runs don't define Davis as a baseball player. He's a capable defender in left field, as evidenced by a diving catch in the sixth to take a hit away from Jett Bandy.

"It just hung up a little longer, so I timed it right and kind of leaned back and dove for it," Davis said.

Davis' incredible catch

Vogt thinks Davis is underrated as a defender.

"I don't think he gets enough credit for the plays he makes in left field," Vogt said. "He really has played a good left field for us this year and I wasn't surprised he came up with that catch."

Davis says he "definitely" feels he's overlooked on defense.

"I mean it's easy for people to look at my arm and be like, 'Oh he can't play defense.' But I mean where I lack with my arm I make up with something else," he said. "I think my hands kind of play up a little more with catches."

In addition to helping the A's win ballgames this week in Anaheim, it's also a rare opportunity for Davis to play in front of family. He was born in nearby Lakewood, played college baseball at Cal State Fullerton and his father, Rodney, is the senior manager of Major League Baseball's Urban Youth Academy in Compton, which is about 20 miles west of Angel Stadium.

I definitely felt the love and support from my family," said Davis, who had 50 relatives in the stands for Friday's game.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.