Verlander commends Gose on catch of the day

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit – A couple of days ago, Justin Verlander was in the outfield shagging fly balls in batting practice. Anthony Gose was out there, too.

Let Verlander pick up the story from there.

"Gose made a nice play while we were shagging fly balls and he said, 'Hey Ver, I'm saving that one for you in the game,'" he said.

Gose is a man of his word.

In the first inning of Verlander's first start of the season Saturday, Gose stole at least a triple from Indians' Michael Brantley. He was playing straight-away center field and a little bit in.

Brantley hit a shot to the right-field side of center. Gose had to run a long way toward the track and made a remarkable diving catch with his back to the infield.

"I had to give him props for that," Verlander said. "He said he was going to save it for me."

Gose mostly shrugged it off.

"I made a catch and he said 'thank you,'" he said. "Got to keep playing the game."

He was asked if he realized just how good a catch that was.

"It was a good catch," he said.

Verlander just shook his head.

"He never ceases to amaze me out there," he said.

The Tigers made several stellar defensive plays Saturday. The first batter Verlander faced, Jason Kipnis, hit a hard ground ball between first and second. Second baseman Ian Kinsler had to go far to his left to snag it and throw Kinsler out.

In the sixth, right-fielder J.D. Martinez robbed Brandon Moss of extra bases with a lunging catch running toward center.

In the eighth, left-fielder Yoenis Cespedes first made a deft running catch on a shallow fly ball by Michael Bourn, and then, while still running at full speed, fired a seed to second to double off Yan Gomes.

"I think it's big," Martinez said. "I take a lot of pride in it. I know a lot of guys take a lot of pride in it, as well. I feel like if you're out there and you can save a run, it's just as good as hitting a run in.

"Anytime you can go out there and give your pitcher a little bit more confidence out there, I think it helps. It goes a long way."

Chris McCosky on Twitter @cmccosky