CHICAGO -- Chris Davis switched out his 34-inch, 32-ounce bat for a 35-34 model, hoping to correct his timing. The Rangers first baseman loaded up his pink bat with too much pine tar in the second inning, and it nearly flew into the stands.
Davis got a better handle on things as Sunday afternoon wore on in Chicago. He led off the fifth inning by clubbing a solo home run that traveled an estimated 403 feet to center field. That began a four-run inning that keyed the Rangers' 7-1 victory over the White Sox.
Here's how Davis explained the extra weight: "I think it helps me stay on the ball a little longer because I can't just yank it in and out of the zone."
Sure, Davis wanted to celebrate Mother's Day, but he also hoped to smooth out his swing, no matter the color of his bat.
"I started swinging it in [batting practice] and felt good with it," said Davis, who also had an RBI double in the eighth. "My swing lately, I was pulling off a lot of balls. I just didn't feel like my timing was right, so [I] went to a heavier bat to make myself stay back and really use my hands more. It paid off today."
Pink bats have become annual Mother's Day symbols as part of an overall "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative by Major League Baseball that raises awareness about breast cancer and directs proceeds to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Fans play the next big role in this process, because attention now will move to the MLB.com Auction and the gradual arrival of game-used pink bats, home plates and logo bases and lineup cards. Fans also can purchase their own personalized "Mother's Day 2009" pink bats right now for $79.99 each at the MLB.com Shop, with $10 from the sale of each one going to Komen.
Before Sunday's game, blue Texas jerseys hung from lockers in the visiting clubhouse. A ribbon was stitched above the "X" and the "A" across the chest. Pink wristbands remained in wrapping, waiting to be opened. Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia jokingly tested out his new bat by swinging it at two reporters.
As Texas manager Ron Washington said, "It is a great cause."
The Rangers didn't hit a single home run in the first two games of this series. It was the first time this season they went without a homer in back-to-back games. They still led the big leagues in home runs heading into Sunday, and they finally flexed their muscles at U.S. Cellular Field, which isn't exactly known as a park for pitchers. The Rangers are 21-18 on Mother's Day.
"We all love our mothers. One thing about mom -- dad might give up on you, but mom never will," Washington said before Sunday's game. "I just hope the stands are filled with mothers. It would be nice to play in front of a big crowd."
Patrick Mooney is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.