Davis returns, bats seventh in lineup

Showalter hopes change will help slugger get on track

Davis returns, bats seventh in lineup

OAKLAND -- Chris Davis returned to the Orioles lineup after a day off and is batting further down in manager Buck Showalter's lineup than he has since 2014.

Davis was given a day off by Showalter when Baltimore opened a four-game series at the Oakland Coliseum on Thursday night, a game won by the Orioles, 7-2.

Davis was back for Friday's game, with one noticeable change -- the Orioles slugger was penciled in to bat seventh after spending most of the last 2 1/2 years in the cleanup spot. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout in the 5-4 loss to the A's.

Showalter had initially thought about giving Davis a few days off, but changed his mind after meeting with the veteran first baseman.

"He's ready to go," Showalter said. "We talked. Got a little mental break and back in there. Chris, we're going to need him. He's capable of doing really good things for us."

Davis has had an up-and-down season. He entered the night with 18 home runs, but took a .212 batting average into the second game against Oakland and was mired in a 4-for-33 funk before Showalter rested him Thursday.

Baltimore's veteran first baseman said the day off came at a good time.

"I've been burning the candle at both ends lately, just trying to kind of get the feel I've been looking for, for what seems like all season," Davis said. "I think it will pay off going forward. The next couple of months are, obviously, huge for us and we're not going to get a lot of breaks, so anytime you can take step back and catch your breath, it's good."

On Friday, Davis batted one spot behind Mark Trumbo, who was in the sixth spot for only the second time this season. Trumbo batted sixth on Thursday and hit his 18th home run.

Trumbo's solo shot

If anything, the Orioles skipper said having Trumbo and Davis lower in the lineup should make the order more potent.

"I like the idea of having some threats all the way through the lineup," Showalter said. "We've got some guys that have done well toward the top and some guys that have done well toward the bottom. I like the depth of our lineup. It's more about the pitching. That's where I'm more concerned about."

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. He covered the Orioles on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.