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08/04/10 10:28 PM ET

After bump in the road, Davis coming on strong

A lot of people tend to push a rookie's struggles to the side, saying that is to be expected in a player's first year in the big leagues. However, that is not the case for Rays pitcher Wade Davis.

Davis admitted that he didn't expect to struggle in his first year, but he has come to learn that it's simply part of the game.

"I didn't really expect to have a whole lot of failure," Davis said. "I didn't think it was going to happen. But I've had a little bit. I think it's going to happen probably every year from here on out. And hopefully, I'll get to play for a while. It's going to be a struggle, and I've just got to keep bouncing."

Davis has gone 9-9 this season, and he is currently on a four-game win streak. He had a hot July, going 4-0 in five starts with a 3.03 ERA, which earned him American League Rookie of the Month honors. That came after an 0-5 June.

Manager Joe Maddon isn't sure exactly what caused all of Davis' problems earlier in the year, but feels he is in part to blame.

"Part of it may be my fault, because I've talked about the fastball and fastball command all the time," Maddon said. "He has the ability to throw the other pitch in a fastball count."

Davis will face off against the Twins' Kevin Slowey. Slowey is 10-5 on the year with a 4.44 ERA. Slowey put together one of his best starts of the season in his last outing on Saturday, throwing eight shutout innings and giving up only three hits.

Twins: Pitchers on a roll
Over the last 13 games, Twins pitchers have posted a 1.82 ERA (119 innings pitched, 24 earned runs). During that span, they have allowed only two home runs, with 29 walks and 91 strikeouts. In the previous 16 games, the staff posted a 5.62 ERA (141 innings pitched, 88 earned runs), with 18 home runs, 34 walks, 101 strikeouts and an opponents' batting average of .309. In these last 13 games, the starters have gone 10-1 with a 1.46 ERA (86 1/3 innings pitched, 14 earned runs), with one home run, 20 walks and 64 strikeouts. ... The Twins entered Wednesday's game against the Rays with the best fielding percentage in baseball at .991. Their 36 errors committed were also the fewest in baseball up to that point. The team is on pace to commit only 55 errors and set the Twins' all-time record. Their previous low was 74 set back in 2002. ... Michael Cuddyer's streak of having reached base safely in 27 consecutive games dating back to July 3 was snapped on Wednesday when he went 0-for-6. In those games, he has batted .318 (34-for-107) with eight doubles, one triple, three home runs, 13 walks and 12 RBIs.

Rays: Successful homestand
The Rays are 8-2 on their 11-game homestand that ends Thursday in the series finale against Minnesota. Tampa Bay has won 10 of its last 12 games and 23 of its last 31 contests. ... The Rays and the Yankees share the best record (67-40) in baseball. Only once since the divisional format was adopted in 1994 have two teams from the same division finished the season with the top two records in the Majors. The last time that happened was in 2001, when Seattle and Oakland finished with the two best marks.

Worth noting
The Rays own a 5-3 season advantage over the Twins, and each game has been decided by three or fewer runs.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.