The A’s best player during their best trip of the season earned a league honor Monday. Khris Davis was named co-American League Player of the Week, sharing the honor with the Boston Red Sox’s Hanley Ramirez.
Davis hit .400 with five home runs and 13 RBIs as the A’s won six of their seven games against the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. That included two milestones Sunday, when Davis hit two homers, including his 40th of the season and 100th of his career.
“It feels like my birthday,” said Davis, the first A’s player to be named Player of the Week since Josh Reddick last May.
Davis became the fifth Oakland A’s player to hit 40 homers in a season and first since Jason Giambi had 41 in 2003. He also has the second-most homers in the majors since the All-Star break (21), trailing the Minnesota Twins’ Brian Dozier (27).
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“Talking to him yesterday, he doesn’t consider himself finished,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s in a good place right now.”
The A’s, despite their 66-83 record, also feel as if they’re in a good place as they opened their final homestand of the season Monday against the Houston Astros. They are coming off a trip that included a four-game sweep in Kansas City and a series in Texas in which their lone loss came on a blown save in the ninth.
“We played our best baseball of the season this last road trip,” Melvin said. “It was as fun a road trip as I’ve been a part of in a couple years here.”
Melvin said the influx of younger players from the minors “has a lot to do with it,” giving the A’s a shot of energy they didn’t have at midseason. Some of the call-ups, such as Ryon Healy and Joey Wendle, have become regulars in the lineup and are jockeying for bigger roles next spring.
“The last couple years have been disappointing here for us,” Melvin said. “There’s times you can get beat down a little bit. But coming to the ballpark today was a really good feeling based on what we saw on this trip. And it has a lot to do with the energy level.”
Another late-season call-up, Jharel Cotton, made his third start for the A’s on Monday against the Astros, with Sean Manaea and Daniel Mengden following him. Kendall Graveman will pitch Friday’s opener against the A.L.-best Texas Rangers.
The A’s have not ruled out Sonny Gray pitching again this year. Melvin said Gray will throw a bullpen session Tuesday, likely longer than his last 30-pitch effort. If he comes out of that OK, the next step would be facing hitters in a simulated setting, then potentially a game.
“First we want to get to that point,” Melvin said.
A couple of other injury updates: Mark Canha, out since May because of a strained back, will hit off of a tee Tuesday. And Henderson Alvarez, who did not pitch this year for the A’s because of shoulder problems, will undergo an arthroscopic procedure on his right shoulder Tuesday.