Meche leads Royals to win over Twins

By: Dick Kaegel /
By: Dick Kaegel /

KANSAS CITY -- Gil Meche had lost six straight decisions. Scratch that. The Royals had lost seven in a row. Scratch that.
And, oh yeah, the Royals had lost 100 games in three consecutive years. Scratch that.

All of those unpleasant situations ended on one glorious happy note -- a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins -- on a gorgeous 73-degree Wednesday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Meche, who hadn't won in his last nine starts, was dominant from the get-go. He cut down the first nine batters, striking out four of them. Not winning since July 20 tends to make a pitcher hungry.

The Royals' seven-game skid, matching their longest this season, had caused an uncomfortable delay in mathematically warding off another 100-loss season. The Royals couldn't possibly lose their last 25 games. (Or could they?)

Meche seemingly had labored alone this year, with the Royals providing him a pallid 3.82 runs per nine innings. That was the least support given to any qualifying starter in the American League.

Ah, but this bright blue afternoon was different. By the sixth inning, Meche was on the sunny side of a 6-0 lead. He'd allowed just two hits and walked no one.

David DeJesus drove in three runs, with a triple and a two-run homer. His seventh blast came in the sixth off Julio DePaulo.

Mark Teahen contributed a double to the two-run first inning and led off the third with his seventh homer -- just inside the right-field foul pole.

The tranquil afternoon trembled a bit for Meche in the seventh as Jason Kubel and Torii Hunter started the inning with back-to-back doubles, ending the shutout. Two outs later, Chris Heintz slapped an RBI single and when Meche issued his first walk, to Nick Punto, his outing was over.

Meche (8-12) had thrown 102 pitches, 71 of them strikes, when he gave way to David Riske. Riske promptly ended the inning.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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