ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Chris Davis is already giving the Texas Rangers a glimpse of their future -- and helping them win.
The 22-year-old slugger hit a two-run homer to the opposite field and made some impressive plays at first base in his first major league start Friday night as the Rangers beat the slumping Philadelphia Phillies 8-7."He's got stupid pop, opposite-field pop," Milton Bradley said. "He got that pitch tonight, and he hit it out like it was nothing. Hopefully, it's a sign of things to come."Or as closer C.J. Wilson referred to Davis, "The Hulk."While Davis' homer capped a five-run outburst for Texas in the third, and he was the one drenched by the contents of a water cooler poured over his head during a postgame interview, Bradley's tiebreaking solo homer two innings later put the Rangers ahead to stay.Texas made it to the halfway point of its schedule at 41-40, seven wins more than at the same point a year ago in manager Ron Washington's rookie season.Pedro Feliz hit a grand slam for Philadelphia (43-38), whose lead in the National League East is down to one game over Florida after the Phillies' eighth loss in nine games.After Philadelphia went up 5-1 with five runs in the third, Davis' two-run homer capped the Rangers' response in the bottom of the inning."Obviously the home run felt good," said Davis, a fifth-round draft pick two years ago. "It was fun to get that and get a win."Davis, a converted third baseman, made his major league debut Thursday night with a pinch-hit infield single at Houston. He made a nifty defensive stop against Philadelphia when he dove to his left to snag a short hopper and ran to the bag for the final out of the fifth."Basically me just falling over," Davis said, smiling. "It was a reaction play. It shows how much work I've put in at first base."The Rangers called up Davis while waiting for the return of Hank Blalock, a former two-time All-Star third baseman who is switching to first when he comes back from the disabled list. But Blalock had another setback Friday after taking some swings in the batting cage. He felt soreness in his surgically repaired wrist and was told by team doctors not to pick up a bat for a week.Bradley, the American League's top hitter at .330, started for only the second time in nine games since sustaining a left quadriceps strain. His 16th homer, a solo shot off Clay Condrey (1-1), hit about halfway up the right-field pole in the fifth to snap a 6-6 tie.Ian Kinsler went 3-for-4 and scored three times, the last on Josh Hamilton's sacrifice fly in the eighth that proved vital. Kinsler led off the first with his 13th homer before adding two doubles, a walk and his 20th stolen base."Kinsler set the stage and the rest of them followed," manager Ron Washington said.Wilson worked the ninth for his 17th save in 19 chances, after giving up a 437-foot homer to Jayson Werth on his first pitch. Josh Rupe (3-1) pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief.The Phillies, the last of the other 29 current teams to ever visit Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, scored more runs in one inning than they had in any of their previous eight games. And that still wasn't enough.Hamilton, who left Thursday night's game after getting hit by a pitch on the left hand in the first, had two RBIs to increase his majors-best total to 78.Kinsler had a leadoff double in the third and came home after consecutive infield singles by Michael Young and Hamilton. Brett Myers was relieved after walking the next two batters, including David Murphy with the bases loaded.Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Myers could soon find himself out of the starting rotation."First, you have to get somebody to do the job. When things go bad, those are things we discuss," Manuel said. "I told you two a few outings ago, we'd try to get him right and go from there."The Phillies are 1-11 in the last 12 games started by Myers, who is 1-8 in that stretch.Condrey coaxed a double play grounder from Marlon Byrd before the homer by Davis, who had 27 homers and 77 RBIs in 77 minor league games this season.Philadelphia led 5-1 after its first hit of the game, the Feliz grand slam coming off left-hander Kason Gabbard. All of those runs were unearned because of an error by Gabbard when he didn't catch Werth's soft comeback liner.After the Rangers responded, Gabbard didn't hold the lead long, allowing a leadoff homer to Chris Coste in the fourth that tied the game at 6-6. Gabbard lasted only three more batters, then Rupe got Jimmy Rollins to ground into an inning-ending double play on the first pitch the reliever threw.
Kinsler leads the AL with 104 hits and 69 runs scored. ... Feliz's last grand slam was also in Texas, in Houston on May 16, 2006.