Since his short stint on the disabled list, the Rays have pulled even with the New York Yankees on two fronts. Not only have they matched them atop the American League East, but also tie with the Yanks to post the best record in baseball. Not too shabby without one of their leading starters.
Davis definitely helped launch the Rays to this point, however, as he was stellar in the month of July going 4-0 with a 3.03 ERA. Leading the team to victories in all five starts helped the righty land AL Rookie of the Month honors in July.
Davis will see his first start back in the Rays' rotation on Wednesday night taking on the Angels in Los Angeles. He's matching up with Angels righty Ervin Santana, who has won five of his last six starts including a 7-2 victory against the Red Sox in his last outing.
His return comes at a crucial time in the Tampa Bay schedule, as a win Tuesday night coupled with a Yankees loss would push the Rays into the top spot in the AL East. A win for Davis would also spell a four-game winning streak for the Rays, so the pressure is on.
The 24-year-old has crumbled under pressure before in June when he went 0-5 during the month. But his bounce-back effort in July proves he has the rookie jitters under control. If the Rays can complete the sweep in Anaheim, they head into Boston for a three-game series over the weekend. Tampa is 6-1 against the Red Sox at Fenway this season.
Davis currently leads American League rookies in wins with nine and ranks second in strikeouts with 77 on the year. Tampa Bay optioned right-hander Mike Ekstrom to Triple-A Durham to make room for Davis on the roster.