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Clutch Davis confident in late innings

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CHICAGO -- Khris Davis may not exactly be tearing the cover off the ball this year, but he has come through in some big situations.

Davis delivered a walk-off two-run single in Thursday's 4-3 win over the Pirates, his third game-winning hit this season. How do you figure a player who was hitting .227 entering Friday's game has come through with a .313 average in "late and close" situations, which includes plate appearances in the seventh inning or later with the batting team tied, ahead by one, or the tying run at least on deck?

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"I can't explain it. It's a confidence thing, always with players on when they're going well, when they're not," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He knows that he has succeeded late in a game and extra innings, been very good, so when he's in those situations, he knows that, 'You know, I've always come through here,' and that gives an advantage as to what's happening with whether you're swinging the bat well or not."

Davis also drove home the winning run in extra-inning games on April 20 in Pittsburgh (solo homer in the 14th inning) and on April 28 at St. Louis (12th-inning RBI triple).

"There's something about the game being on the line and who wants to be up there, and so it works both ways and it's confidence," Roenicke said. "I hope we don't always have to go to extra innings for him to do well.

"You know, once they start succeeding, we talk about Davis in late innings, he's very confident now. ... We need to get him to have that same feeling through the game and earlier."

Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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