Slumping slugger Davis regroups
Texas (24-17) at Houston (18-22), 3:10 p.m. CT
HOUSTON -- Chris Davis appeared to be on a roll. He had a 28-game stretch where he hit .283 with 10 home runs and 21 RBIs in 99 at-bats. His on-base percentage was .330 and his slugging percentage was .626.Then he hit the brakes, going 0-for-16 with eight strikeouts in two games against the Angels and three games against the Tigers. That's why manager Ron Washington did not start him Friday against the Astros even though there was a right-hander on the mound. He eventually ended up in the game and went 0-for-2. But Davis will be back out there on Saturday when the Rangers play the Astros on the FOX Game of the Week.
"I'll get Chris back out there, I just wanted to give him a day," Washington said. "I just think he needs a mental break and watch the ballgame. He's trying too hard. Usually one day kick-starts you, so I'm going to give him a day."Detroit was especially rough. Davis had nine at-bats and struck out seven times. He did draw two walks on Thursday, but that was it. "Against the Angels, even though I wasn't getting hits, I was still having good at-bats and putting the ball in play," Davis said. "But Detroit ... I don't know if there is something about Detroit. Those guys throw hard and they pitched us well. They handicapped us for a few days." Davis didn't argue with his manager about needing a day off. "He's probably right," Davis said. "When you're scuffling, the best thing to do is sit back and watch the game. Slow things down. Getting yourself mentally prepared to compete sometimes takes a toll on you. "It's been hit or miss for the last few months. If you're watching from outside, you'll see that I have a few good games and you'll think, 'He's back.' But in all honesty, I just haven't had that feeling of being locked in every night. Some days I feel good and some days I feel like garbage. But there's not much you can do. As far as doing the right thing, I'm trying to do as much as I can as far as mechanics and being ready to play." Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Scott Feldman (2-0, 4.04 ERA)
Feldman is 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA as a starter, with both victories coming on the road. He pitched six scoreless innings in the Rangers' 3-0 victory over the Angels on Sunday. He has now made 30 Major League starts in the past two years and is 8-8 with a 4.67 ERA in that role. He has a 5.79 ERA in five career games against the Astros without a decision. As a hitter playing under National League rules, he is 1-for-3, with a single last year against the Mets. HOU: RHP Brian Moehler (1-2, 7.71 ERA)
Moehler allowed three runs over five innings while facing the Cubs in his last outing, earning his first win of the season. The veteran right-hander has allowed five runs over three starts since returning from the disabled list. Moehler made one start against the Rangers last year, earning the win after holding Texas to one run over 6 1/3 innings. In his career, he's 6-4 with a 4.63 ERA over 12 games vs. Texas. Tidbits
If Omar Vizquel starts a game in this series, Washington said it will probably be on Sunday. ... Rangers owner Tom Hicks and club president Nolan Ryan are both in Houston for the series. Tickets
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Sunday: Rangers (Brandon McCarthy, 3-2, 5.60) at Astros (Mike Hampton, 2-3, 5.23), 1:05 p.m. CT
Monday: Rangers (Matt Harrison, 4-3, 4.71) vs. Yankees (Phil Hughes, 2-2, 7.06), 1:05 p.m. CT
Tuesday: Rangers (Kevin Millwood, 4-4, 3.12) vs. Yankees (Joba Chamberlain, 2-1, 3.70), 7:05 p.m. CT
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.