Yankees-Royals Preview

For the most part, Yankees right-hander Mike Mussina has kept the Royals at bay during his career. In 31 starts, he's 15-7 against them with a 3.02 ERA. He's also 8-2 in 14 career starts at Kauffman Stadium. His ERA? Just 3.12.

Impressive numbers.

Therefore the Royals would prefer to remember the last time they faced Mussina, on Sept. 5, 2006, at Kauffman Stadium. They let him stick around for just five-plus innings, rustling up four runs in a 5-0 victory. Mussina was pulled after Emil Brown led off the sixth inning with a home run.

Matched against Moose is Royals right-hander Gil Meche, who is 4-0 in his last seven starts. However, his ERA -- one of the league's best previously -- was 4.60 in that span.

Meche's career record against the Yankees for the Mariners is 3-2 in nine starts.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Gil Meche (7-6, 3.63 ERA)
Meche resumed his All-Star season on Friday night, tossing seven innings of two-run ball against the high-octane Tigers after subpar results in his previous two outings. All the runs scored in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. After changing his in-between-start routine, Meche had plenty left in the tank and worked more than six innings for the first time since June 15. He has been much better on the road (2.97) than at home this season (4.17).

NYY: RHP Mike Mussina (4-7, 4.97 ERA)
Mussina is having a subpar season with only one victory in his last six starts. His last two outings were against the Devil Rays, who have the worst record in the Majors. In one, he gave up 11 hits, the most off him in more than three years. In the other, he struck out the side in the first inning and then gave up six earned runs in 4 2/3. Mussina needs one victory to pass Juan Marichal (243) and tie Jack Powell (244) for 48th spot on the all-time victory list.

Player to watch
Alex Rodriguez has given Meche a hard time, batting .400 (8-for-20) with three home runs, four doubles, three walks and six RBIs against him.


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