Davis has collected only one hit in 28 at-bats in his last eight games, with 13 strikeouts raising his season total to 185. His average is back down to .171.
Manager Buck Showalter is playing Trey Mancini at first base again and using DJ Stewart as the designated hitter to provide more at-bats for the rookie.
An expanded bench includes Davis, who again appeared to be getting on a roll and then screeched to a halt.
“He’s had three or four times this year, I know, when he had that period off he came back and was good for two or three days,” Showalter said. “The last couple days have been tough.”
Davis had gone 6-for-16 with four strikeouts in four games before his latest cold stretch. And he was 15-for-47 (.319) in 12 games to raise his average to .180 on Sept. 5, its highest point since May 11.
Showalter said he has “a lot of thoughts” on what’s happening to Davis, not all of them for public consumption.
“Obviously, I’ve voiced them to him and Scott (Coolbaugh),” Showalter said. “I know he’s got a stiff neck today from a slide he had.
“I know what I think watching it. Obviously, the selectiveness sometimes. He’s always over-selective and not selective enough. I mean, you watch it.”
Davis’ average was down to .150 on June 11 after he went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against the Red Sox. He didn’t play again until June 22 in Atlanta and had a double, home run and five RBIs over the next two games.
Back-to-back games with three strikeouts in three at-bats were followed by home runs on June 27-28 versus the Mariners.
Davis also had a hit in eight of 10 games from June 30-July 10. Small spurts, slight teases and then another crash.
“I’m not going to sit here ... I know what I think, but it’s hard to keep ... it’s obviously been hard for a while to keep that locked in for an extended period of time,” Showalter said.
“You see two or three games and you go, ‘Wow, that looks more like it.’ And then for a couple days it’s not there anymore and you don’t know when it’s going to come back.”
Update: DJ Stewart hit his first major league home run leading off the third inning, the ball slamming into the right field foul pole for a 1-0 lead.