It’s homecoming for White Sox’ Matt Davidson

SHARE It’s homecoming for White Sox’ Matt Davidson

Matt Davidson, left, is greeted by Yolmer Sanchez after Davidson hit a two-run home run May 18, 2017, in Seattle. (AP)

PHOENIX — So far, so good for White Sox infielder Matt Davidson.

Davidson entered the Sox’ game Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks — the team that drafted him — with eight home runs and 23 RBI in 102 at-bats. He was tied for the team lead in homers with Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu despite having considerably fewer plate appearances.

Davidson has five homers of 401 feet or longer, including a 442-footer against Anibal Sanchez and a 435-foot shot against Ian Kennedy.

Opposing pitchers know Davidson has a tendency to strike out, but they need to be careful with him.

‘‘I feel like I’ve stayed pretty consistent, and no matter how the at-bat ends, I feel like I’m a threat in the lineup,’’ Davidson said. ‘‘They might make some good pitches, but if they make a mistake, I’m going to try to do some damage. I feel like they’re being careful with me. You want that presence about you.’’

Davidson saw his first game as a kid at Chase Field, grew up rooting for the D-backs, was drafted and developed by them and was a minor-league roommate of Chris Owings, so the whole experience this week ‘‘is really cool,’’ he said.

Most of Davidson’s at-bats have come as a designated hitter. He was out of the starting lineup for the first two games of the interleague series but got into both games as a pinch hitter. He grounded into a double play in the fourth inning Tuesday.

‘‘He doesn’t look overwhelmed,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. ‘‘He looks very calm and understands his situation.’’

Davidson has been through a lot of ups and downs, though. A supplemental first-round draft choice of the D-backs in 2009, Davidson was acquired by the Sox for closer Addison Reed in the winter of 2013.

He had played in 31 games with the D-backs in 2013, hitting three homers and driving in 12 runs while batting .237. Then he struggled mightily at Class AAA Charlotte, batting .199 and .203 with high strikeout rates but managing to hit 20 and 23 homers in 2014 and 2015.

Last season was better. He hit .268 with 10 homers and 46 RBI in 75 games. Then he broke a bone in his foot in his first game after getting called up.

As the Sox continue to rebuild, Davidson is finding his way as a major-league regular, and he might get more playing time at third base if Todd Frazier gets traded.

‘‘I didn’t kind of know what the role was going to be as far as the amount of playing time, but I’m starting to get into a rhythm playing more,’’ said Davidson, who has started 13 games at DH, 10 at third base and three at first base. ‘‘Learning a lot how they’re pitching me but also learning that the key to your success is staying locked in to your approach and not giving up pitches by swinging out of the zone.’’

Through Monday, Davidson had a .243/.295/.515 hitting line and an .809 OPS. That ranked fourth on the team behind Avisail Garcia (.968), Abreu (.818) and Leury Garcia (.812).

‘‘He has good at-bats, he’s got some pop in his bat and he can run into one,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘He’s a very good defender, capable of playing a very good third base, very good first base. He’s got a couple of guys in front of him that have been around a while that have been

doing it well.’’

Davidson is making good use of his at-bats.

‘‘About 100 at-bats in, I feel pretty good about how things have gone,’’ he said.

Follow me on Twitter @CST_soxvan.


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