OAKLAND -- For one at-bat Wednesday night -- one powerful swing -- Khris Davis looked like the Khris Davis of old.
With two outs in the second inning and a runner on first, the A's slugger blasted an opposite-field home run off of Yankees starter J.A. Happ, snapping an 0-for-17 skid. It was Davis' 18th home run of the season, but his first in three weeks and just his second in the last two months.
"He needed that," A's manager Bob Melvin admitted. "He's been grinding hard. He takes this pretty seriously."
That’s the Khrush we all know and love 🙌 pic.twitter.com/tymuBMp2G9— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 22, 2019
It's been a nightmare season for Davis, or at least a nightmare four months. After signing a two-year contract extension back in April, the 31-year-old is hitting just .211 with eight home runs and 35 RBI.
Since joining the A's in 2016, Davis has never suffered this type of prolonged slump. He has recorded at least 40 home runs and 100 RBI in each of his first three seasons with the team, but this year he's stuck on 18 and 55.
"He's been so instrumental for this team, as consistent a power hitter as we've ever had around here," Melvin said. "It's weighing on him. It hurts."
Melvin has tried everything to get Davis back on track, from days off to moving down in the batting order. Nothing has worked.
Perhaps Wednesday's long ball can help Davis relax and get back on track.
"He wants to hit in the middle of the order and he wants to do what he normally does, but everybody goes through some tough times," Melvin said. "I'm glad he hit a home run."
Even without Davis' typical production, the A's have managed to stay right in the AL wild-card race. If KD can get back anywhere near his potential, it could be enough to put Oakland over the top.