Wade Davis on getting save Saturday night: ‘I wanted to pitch’

Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis closed out the ninth inning of a 5-2 win against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis closed out the ninth inning of a 5-2 win against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.

Royals manager Ned Yost had hoped closer Wade Davis wouldn’t get a Salvy Splash on Saturday night.

On Saturday afternoon, Yost held court with a smattering of media members in the Royals dugout.

Yost answered a handful of questions, including the availability of Davis, who had a rough return from the disabled list a night earlier. Davis threw 21 pitches and allowed two runs as he absorbed a blown save in the Tigers’ win.

Caution seemed in order for using Davis, whose appearance Friday had been his first after being placed on the disabled list on July 31 because of a flexor strain in his right arm.

“We’ll probably look to stay away from him tonight,” Yost said.

Despite his best efforts, Yost was forced to call on Davis to get the final two outs of the Royals’ 5-2 victory at Kauffman Stadium. It was Davis’ 22nd save of the year, but his first since July 22.

Davis said after the game that he was ready to go.

“I wanted to pitch,” said Davis. “I would have been fine if we scored 10 or 12, but I definitely wanted to get back out no matter when it was, to get some outs and get my feet underneath me.”

Davis began warming in the eighth inning when the Royals held a 3-1 advantage. But they pushed a pair of runs across in the bottom of the frame.

Yost called upon rookie Brooks Pounders to protect the four-run advantage, but he allowed a home run to leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler on an 0-2 pitch. After a strikeout, Pounders gave up a single to Miguel Cabrera, and Yost summoned Davis.

“We asked him how he felt and he said he felt fine,” Yost said. “We said ‘If we’re in a situation if we have to use you to win a game, we will. But if we get to the ninth inning and we haven’t used Herrera, we will use Herrera and you’ll be ready (Sunday).’ 

Davis looked like his old self, the one that has caused fans to refer to him as a cyborg.

Tigers designed hitter Victor Martinez and right fielder J.D. Martinez both struck out as Davis squelched the threat. Soon after, Salvador Perez carried a water cooler as he stalked Davis, and the Royals celebrated the end of their three-game skid.

Davis’ one-game mini-slump was over, too. And, yes, even elite closers are happy to get put a blown save behind them.

“Yeah, especially facing the same hitters, for confidence, it’s definitely a huge thing,” Davis said.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff