He waited until the last possible moment, but Khris Davis finally hit a homer in his reunion tour with the Oakland A’s.
After a prolific slugging career in a half-decade with the A’s, the team traded Davis away last winter, and he began the 2021 season with the Texas Rangers. But he found his way back to the organization in August and was called up to the majors on the first day of September.
In 19 games in an Oakland uniform, Davis notched a few big hits, but none of them left the park. He had some calls hitting the tippy-top of outfield walls, and on Saturday his towering drive was knocked down by a ceiling rafter at Minute Maid Park in Houston, but nothing quite made it to the seats.
The A’s played their final game of the year on Sunday, against the Astros, and Davis wasn’t in the starting lineup. But in the 9th inning, with nobody on base, two out, and Oakland trailing 6-5, he got the call to pinch-hit for rookie Luis Barrera against lefty reliever Blake Taylor. Davis worked a 3-1 count, then got a hanging slider and khrushed it.
Khrush ties the game with 2 outs in the 9th inning pic.twitter.com/Xv45AeBu3i— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) October 3, 2021
In his 20th game and 53rd plate appearance since returning, he finally went yard, and it was a particularly clutch one to tie the score when they were down to their final out. Oakland still lost in the end, but they at least made it interesting by forcing a bottom of the 9th inning. He blasted it with 105.4 mph exit velocity, and a distance of 409 feet, a no-doubter especially in Houston’s short left field porch.
What an awesome moment for Khris Davis and Matt Chapman after that dinger pic.twitter.com/VFk2fpZL1X— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) October 3, 2021
That’s the 159th homer that Davis has hit in an A’s uniform, ranking eighth in Oakland history. Here’s the list, dating back to 1968:
- Mark McGwire, 363
- Reggie Jackson, 268
- Jose Canseco, 254
- Eric Chavez, 230
- Jason Giambi, 198
- Sal Bando, 192
- Rickey Henderson, 167
- Khris Davis, 159
- Miguel Tejada, 156
- Dwayne Murphy, 153
- Next is Matt Olson with 142
Davis is one of the premier sluggers in franchise history, no matter how much he struggled the past few summers. It just wouldn’t have been right to see him return for a whole month and put up a zero in the homer column. It took until the bitter end, in what could have been the A’s final at-bat of the entire year, but he came through with the dinger we’d been waiting to see, and in doing so he extended the season by a few extra minutes and gave us one more happy memory to take into a stormy winter.