Matt Davidson hadn't played his team's previous four games before putting on yet another big showing with the bat on Monday night.
But time on the bench hasn't slowed down Davidson. The designated hitter/third baseman continued to make the most of his opportunities as he fell a triple shy of the cycle in a 12-1 White Sox victory over the Kansas City Royals in front 11,484 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Davidson blasted his fourth home run and drove in four runs as the White Sox produced their biggest inning since 2012 and tied a season-high with 15 hits. The outpouring provided ample support for Miguel Gonzalez, who improved to 3-0 after he allowed an unearned run and two hits in eight innings.
"I looked at Jacob (May) tonight and said, 'Man, every time (Davidson) plays he hits a home run,'" said shortstop Tim Anderson, who singled three times and scored three runs. "He's putting together some good at-bats and is definitely one of the lead guys on the offensive side throughout the season. He's been putting together good ABs and crushing balls."
Monday's appearance was the 12th for Davidson this season in 18 White Sox games, but his first since Tuesday in New York and only his ninth start.
Davidson didn't show much rust.
He made up for lost time starting with a solo homer in the second inning off Jason Vargas to put the White Sox ahead 1-0. Four innings later, Davidson helped jumpstart an eight-run rally with an RBI double to right-center field to put the White Sox ahead 5-1. Anderson also singled in a run and Tyler Saladino tripled in two more to make it 8-1. Todd Frazier also had a two-run double before Davidson nearly knocked down the left-field fence with a two-run single. It was the biggest inning for the White Sox since they scored nine times in the fifth inning of a July 3, 2012 contest against the Texas Rangers.
Davidson is hitting .368/.375/.789 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 40 plate appearances this season. He should find himself in the starting lineup again with left-hander Danny Duffy on the mound for the Royals.
"He's going to keep doing what he needs to do," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He's doing it right now. He's playing. He's going to stay working and we're going to get him the opportunities every chance we get like we are now. He doesn't have to do more than he's doing now. He's a part of us and fortunately for us every time he gets in there he does something pretty impactful for us."
All three of Davidson's hits exited his bat at greater than 103 mph, including the 110-mph single. According to MLB Barrel Alert, Davidson has hit eight pitches off the barrel this season.
He's feeling a ton of confidence and would love to play every day. But after being stuck at Triple-A Charlotte since 2014, Davidson isn't about to complain.
"It feels a whole lot better being here than in Charlotte, so I'm enjoying every single day," Davidson said. "Obviously I want to play, but being here with these guys and being in Chicago is a dream come true."
Whether he's in or out of the lineup, Davidson said he tries to stay sharp for his opportunities by staying focused every day. No matter the score, Davidson heads to the cage around the fifth inning to prepare for a potential late-innings at-bat even if they never arrive. He thinks that helps him take advantage of the days he finds himself penciled into Renteria's lineup card.
"I try to treat it as close to a game as possible," Davidson said. "If I'm not playing it's not like I'm going to go eat a ton of food. I try and not take a day off mentally and screw around."
Gonzalez hasn't been messing around this season whenever he takes the mound. He continued as an outstanding stretch that dates back to July with eight more strong innings.
Gonzalez needed only six pitches to retire the side in order in the first and sixth innings. Only one of the hits allowed by Gonzalez left the infield — Mike Moustakas' game-tying RBI double in the third. He struck out five with only one walk and lowered his ERA since July 1 to 2.54 in 106 1/3 innings.
The team's sixth-inning rally was so long that the right-hander headed into the home batting cages to throw a handful of pitches and stay warm. But he wasn't complaining afterward, either.
"It felt so long but I try not to do too much," Gonzalez said. "We scored eight runs and that's huge for our team."