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Davis making slugging homers routine

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MILWAUKEE -- Stepping to the plate for his first plate appearance of Saturday night's 4-1 win over the Dodgers, Khris Davis simply did the same thing he had done over and over again through the first 160 games of his Major League career: Hit the ball very, very hard.

This time, Davis launched a 93-mph fastball from Zack Greinke into the right-field stands at Miller Park, giving the Brewers an early 2-0 lead. It was his 19th home run of the year and the 30th of his Major League career.

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Adding to the impressiveness of the opposite-field shot was the location from where he hit it. The fastball from Greinke on a 1-2 count was high, placed in a location few batters can get to.

"I made a lot of mistakes today [but] that was exactly where I wanted it to be. I know he's really strong if he does get to it, but I thought that was a pretty safe place to go," Greinke said. "That was upsetting, because it was exactly what I wanted to do."

"I saw the catcher kind of signal up," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "They were trying to go up and away from him. To get on top of it -- that's not an easy pitch. It's usually just a high-ball hitter that can get on top of that. Somehow he squared it up."

The outfielder was typically understated when describing the home run.

"I was just looking to put a good swing on the ball," Davis said. "Just battle him off. He's got good stuff. He's got a nasty changeup. I was just thinking, just put something in play. ... A good fastball usually can beat you high, but I just got my hands out and got the head out."

Take it from fellow slugger Mark Reynolds -- it wasn't as easy as that.

"Sometimes, when he's quick like that, away from you is easier to hit than a ball in on your hands," Reynolds said. "He did a good job right there. He hits a lot of [opposite-field] homers. It fits right into his swing."

Such blasts are practically routine now for the Milwaukee outfielder, who's put up big numbers after becoming a fixture of the Milwaukee lineup on July 23, 2013. Since joining the club, he ranks 11th in the Majors with a .516 slugging percentage, ahead of players like Nelson Cruz and David Ortiz. Over that span, he has as many home runs, 30, as Miguel Cabrera.

Does Davis ever stop to consider that he's keeping pace with the reigning American League MVP?

"No, because there's so many stats that you can twist," Davis said. "I'm just looking to take it day by day. I'm happy to be here, and I'm happy I can contribute in some way."

The Brewers are certainly happy as well. Through a season's worth of Major League games, Davis has gone from Ryan Braun fill-in to left-field standout.

"It's easy to love this game when things are going your way, but when things aren't really, you're not getting good pitches and swinging at bad ones, it's hard," Davis said. "You can't be too hard on yourself in this game. It's just a learning experience, good and bad."

Caitlin Swieca 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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