Chris Davis has seen Justin Verlander on top of his game before. He went 0-for-4 today, as did several of his teammates, as Verlander pitched the Tigers to a 4-0 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards.
"I thought after the All-Star Game, we were going to have a real good shot at lighting him up, but he was just setting us up," Davis said. "He won MVP last year for a reason. I felt like at times today he was just toying with us. He was hitting his spots, mixing it up, then when he needed his 96 or 97 it was there. Thank goodness we had Jim Thome in the lineup or we might not have had any hits.
"He actually takes a little time getting into the rhythm of the game and then he starts hitting 96 or 97. In the middle of the game, he started getting into a rhythm.
"To look at the positive side of things, we were in some deep counts and we made him work for it. Miguel (Gonzalez) did a great job of keeping us close and Stevie (Johnson) came in. To keep that offense down was a good job by a guy making his second start and a guy making his debut. I was proud of our guys, but now we have a big road trip coming up."
Gonzalez gave up three runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings in his second Orioles start, throwing exactly 100 pitches.
"I felt good, like I kept the team in the game. That's what I'm trying to do," he said.
He was asked about having to match up against Verlander, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner.
"Obviously, he's going to go out there and pitch his game. I stayed under control, to what my game is. He pitched better," Gonzalez said.
He doesn't often change jerseys after the first inning, but the right-hander did today. The first one had an S as the last letter of his last name when it is actually a Z. He had the one with the correct spelling on in the second inning.
"I had two jerseys here. I just grabbed the first one I saw. They told me the name was wrong, so I changed it after that," Gonzalez said.
Even with a loss, Gonzalez called this a memorable day as he made his first home start.
"I won't forget it. Pitching against Verlander. I'll have it with me. The fans were there were with me, they were great. Now just keep going," he said.