Notes: Meche not bothered

Notes: Meche not bothered

TORONTO -- Gil Meche might not have drawn a circle around this series when the schedule came out, but he knew what to expect.

Meche spurned Toronto to sign with Kansas City over the winter. The decision drew some critical comments from Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi, who questioned Meche's competitive desire.

Meche pitched Saturday against Boston and won't take the mound this series. Nevertheless, he was asked about Ricciardi's comments as the Royals checked into Rogers Centre for their first road trip of the season.

"It didn't bother me," he said. "I don't care what people say about me anyway.

"I looked at going to the Royals as a huge challenge. Take it how you want it, that's what I felt."

Still, Meche understood why Ricciardi felt slighted; Toronto was the only city the right-hander visited on his free-agent tour.

In the end, though, it all came down to Kansas City adding a fifth year to its offer, making it too good a deal to turn down.

Meche said he would have enjoyed the chance to face the Blue Jays this series.

"That's how it goes," he said. "I'll get them next time."

Wake up the bats: It's one week into the season and the Royals are tied with Boston and Texas at the bottom of the heap when it comes to offensive potency in the American League. All three teams are averaging 3.2 runs per game. At the other end of the spectrum, the Blue Jays and Yankees boast the best offenses in the AL so far, averaging 6.6 runs per game.

Manager Buddy Bell knows it's early but would love to see better production from his team.

"There's a couple of different reasons for it," said Bell. "We've faced really good pitching up to this point. Some of the guys aren't swinging as well as they'd like to.

"We've just got to get through this period. You're always going to go through it, it just so happens we're going through it at the beginning of the year. I trust our guys to be able to swing the bats and score some runs."

The bats may not be booming, but Kansas City has been getting good pitching so far. The Royals own the fourth-lowest ERA in the league at 3.33.

Bell said the goal is to wake up the bats while keeping the pitching solid.

"It always seems like it doesn't all click at the same time," he said. "We're just hoping on this road trip that it starts to click. We know it will, we just want to get it going as soon as we can."

Great Warm North: After a week of playing in unseasonably cold weather, the Royals were happy to get inside the climate-controlled Rogers Centre, where every day under the roof is a comfortable 68 degrees.

"It's nice to have decent weather," Bell said.

Pitcher David Riske was also pleased to leave the chilly conditions of Kansas City behind.

"It's always a lot better to pitch when it's warm out," he said. "When it's cold it feels like you can't get loose. There's nothing good about the cold, for baseball at least."

As the first team to visit Toronto this year, the Royals also became the debut guests for a new visitors' clubhouse at Rogers Centre. The new room features bigger lockers, an expanded lounge and two flat-screen television sets.

"It's a lot different, a lot bigger than it used to be," said Riske.

Making the visitors comfortable might not sound like good strategy, but some teams see it as a way to leave good memories in players' minds, hoping it will help attract free agents.

"You would think you'd want to make it as nice as you can, the best atmosphere that you can," Riske said.

Not that the reliever has any complaints about his team's digs at Kaufmann Stadium.

"The home side is awesome," he said. "It's one of the nicest places I've been in."

Gload battles sore leg: Utilityman Ross Gload is battling soreness in his quadriceps muscle but could still pinch-hit if needed, Bell said.

"He's available but in a very limited role, not the same kind of role we want him in which is playing most everyday somehwhere."

Bell also said he'll start Mark Grudzielanek on Tuesday but will try to keep him off the turf for the rest of the series. Mike Sweeney will also get one day off while the Royals are in Toronto.

On deck: The Royals will hand the ball to righty Zack Greinke (0-1, 1.29) for Tuesday's 6:07 p.m. CT game. Toronto counters with right-hander Josh Towers, who is making his first start of the season.

John Peak is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.