OAKLAND -- This was not a familiar situation for Khris Davis. The A's slugger is used to getting intentionally walked, not intentionally faced.
But that's where the slumping Davis found himself Sunday afternoon at the Coliseum, with the game on the line. Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward elected to intentionally walk Mark Canha to load the bases for the reigning home run champion in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game.
Woodward's decision actually made a lot of sense. Davis had gone 1-for-23 in his previous six games, with 11 strikeouts. He had completely lost his confidence and desperately needed a moment like this to help get back on track.
"Just get the job done, not try to get too big and hit a home run," Davis said of his approach. "Something small would help at that point with the game on the line -- just trying to get the job done."
Davis worked the count full against Rangers reliever José Leclerc, before laying off a high fastball for ball four. He jogged to first base, where he was mobbed by his teammates as Marcus Semien came into score the game-winning run on a walk-off walk.
"You really want to be that guy and get the hit in that situation, but you know you have to be patient," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He saw it well enough to see it was a ball in that situation. That's as good as a hit. It's as good as a homer. It gives us a win, so it was a key at-bat, obviously."
It was the seventh career walk-off RBI for Davis, who finished the game 1-for-3 with a single and two walks. Just as importantly, he didn't strike out, a huge step in the right direction.
"I'm just taking it day by day," Davis said. "I'm gonna enjoy this day because we got the win."
"The way we've been playing, if we can get (Blake) Treinen and KD back to where they were -- the other guys have been holding down the fort -- but my feeling is we'll get these guys back right pretty soon and they're gonna be big payoffs for us," Melvin said.
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Davis has never been a big talker -- he prefers to let his bat speak for itself. But after Sunday's win, he made a bold prediction.
"I like where we're at," he said. "We're gonna go to the playoffs this year."