Davidson 'surprise' power source against KC

Davidson 'surprise' power source against KC

KANSAS CITY -- When Matt Davidson arrived at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday morning, he was not part of the starting lineup.

By the time the White Sox concluded an 8-3 victory over the Royals, giving them a split of the four-game series and a share of first place in the American League Central, Davidson had made a 452-foot impact on the final outcome.

"You've got to come to the park ready to play every day. I do," Davidson said. "But usually if I'm not starting, I'll get ready around the fourth or fifth.

"Just had to move it up, but they gave me enough time to know I was playing. Just got ready and did the same thing."

Davidson replaced third baseman Todd Frazier, who was scratched due to back tightness/spasms. He's listed as day to day after it tightened up in the sixth inning of Wednesday night's loss.

"I was hoping it would go away this morning and nothing really got better so we've been doing a lot of stuff with it today," Frazier said. "Hopefully, I'll be back out there tomorrow."

With the White Sox holding a 2-0 lead in the second, Davidson connected on a 2-2 changeup for his fifth home run of the season. Davidson fell behind at 1-2 in that at-bat, fouled off three straight pitches, laid off a two-seam fastball and then connected for the 452-foot clout. According to Statcast™, it had an exit velocity of 109.6 mph and a launch angle of 28 degrees.

Power exists to all fields for Davidson. But he worked after a broken foot ended his season last year to take better care on his pull side.

"Everything is going pretty good, just consistently tapping into that power a little more," Davidson said. "Just the pull stuff, opening that side up a little bit more, and I've done that so far this year. The biggest thing is I'm trying to make adjustments up here."

"Listen, his approaches are actually very good," manager Rick Renteria said. "He stays on the ball very well. He also played a nice defensive game for us today. Sometimes the nicest surprises come when you least expect them."

Two hits on Thursday for Davidson raised his average to .276, while also snapping an 0-for-17 skid dating to April 24 against Kansas City. He has fanned 22 times in 58 at-bats, but Davidson's power more than equals out his swings and misses even if he has yet to develop a good home run pose when he makes no-doubt contact as he did on Thursday.

"I'm just trying to make it to second and not get thrown out," Davidson said with a laugh. "It's a product of the work that we've put in and we definitely enjoy that."  

"We have a lot of power in this lineup," winning pitcher Derek Holland said. "We have a good team here with the chemistry and everything. It's turning out to be what we want it to be."

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.