Davidson caps barrage for Charlotte

Top White Sox prospect's blast wraps up Knights' six-homer night

Matt Davidson is tied for the International League lead with 18 homers. (Scott W. Grau/MiLB.com)

By Robert Emrich / MiLB.com | July 18, 2014 3:56 AM ET

Matt Davidson and the Knights kept the scoreboard operators busy Thursday night.

The top White Sox prospect homered as Triple-A Charlotte outslugged visiting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 9-5. Davidson launched a solo blast in the seventh inning, capping a six-homer performance by the Knights offense.

Facing switch-pitching reliever Pat Venditte, the 23-year-old third baseman took a 2-1 pitch and cleared the left-center field fence of BB&T Park.

"I just got a good pitch," Davidson said. "[On a] 2-1 count, he kinda hung a slider and I got a good piece of the bat on it. He was kind of a sidearm guy and I just wanted to get a pitch up and out over the plate. Something I could handle."

After struggling through the first two months of the season, batting .182 through the end of May, Davidson has turned his season around. The California native has slugged 12 of his 18 homers since the start of June and is batting .250 since then.

"Just kinda getting back to basics and back to who I am," he said. "Trusting that and it's kind of taking over. I feel good.

"It's obviously been a rough, struggling year, but I'm turning it around. I'm learning a lot about myself as far as physically and mentally. We never stop learning as players. I guess I'm glad it happened in the Minor Leagues rather than in the big leagues. I'm preparing myself for that next level and just trying to keep it day-to-day and just trying to learn from it and add to the future."

Despite the struggles, Davidson is tied with teammate Andy Wilkins for the International League lead in homers and has compiled a .712 OPS in 87 games for the Knights.

Wilkins launched two of the club's long balls, with Jordan Danks, Josh Phegley and Marcus Semien rounding out the Knights' homer quintet. Of that group, all but Semien rank in the league's Top 10 in home runs, a fact that did not elude Davidson.

"It's fun," MLB.com's No. 61 prospect said of his team's home run outburst. "Obviously it's kind of one of the big things about the game, the home runs. We have a lot of [No.] 3-4 hitters who would usually lead the team in home-run total, but we're all on one team. We're all hitting right behind each other. It's fun to watch each other every night."

Phegley finished with three hits and two RBIs while Wilkins plated three runs and scored three times.

Erik Johnson was the beneficiary of the offense, improving to 3-6 after allowing five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings for Charlotte.

Kyle Roller slugged a solo homer and Adonis Garcia plated two runs for the RailRiders.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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