Notes: Big stage 'pumps up' Meche

Notes: Big stage 'pumps up' Meche

NEW YORK -- Gil Meche is a guy from the South who plays in the Midwest and just tolerates New York.

However, the Royals right-hander has no reservations about pitching in Yankee Stadium. He's actually done pretty well against the Yankees at their historic playground.

"I threw two games here in 2003, I think it was, and had seven shutout innings, and the next one I pitched eight innings and gave up one run -- a solo home run to Nick Johnson, who was their first baseman," Meche said.

That came in a 2-1 victory by Meche and the Mariners on Aug. 9, 2003. He also had a no-hitter going here on July 19, 2006, until Alex Rodriguez hit a ground-rule double with one out in the fifth. He took a no-decision in a 3-2 Mariners win.

In his career, Meche has started six games at Yankee Stadium, posting a 2-1 record and a 4.18 ERA. Not too shabby.

"I think the hype of pitching here kind of pumps me up," Meche said.

Only in New York: Manager Buddy Bell and a couple of his coaches, habitually early arrivals at the ballpark, started out for Yankee Stadium on Saturday morning. But they didn't arrive until after the team bus arrived from midtown Manhattan at 10:30 a.m. ET.

First, the Bell party tried a cab, but it soon became apparent the driver, incredibly enough, had no clue how to get to Yankee Stadium. They paid off the taxi and got on a subway train at Grand Central Station. There they sat for a long time during some sort of train changeover. Finally, they made it -- and had to endure some needling from the on-time arrivals.

"I love New York," Bell said, smiling. "But today it was kind of iffy."

Who's No. 3? Bell used Ross Gload in the No. 3 spot in the order on Friday night, then switched back to Mark Teahen on Saturday. It's an ongoing search.

"Since Teahen has been struggling, we don't have a prototypical No. 3 man," Bell said.

Teahen was just 1-for-14 on this trip before Saturday's game, and he had not homered since May 29. He's been hitting fifth or even sixth while Bell tries Gload or Mark Grudzielanek or even Billy Butler and Alex Gordon in the crucial third spot.

Eventually Bell believes Teahen will be the permanent No. 3 hitter.

"He gets on base, has speed and drives the ball -- which has been his biggest problem," Bell said.

Bunts: Former Royals starter Scott Elarton is now trying to make it with the Cleveland Indians. He signed a contract with the Tribe's Triple-A club at Buffalo. Elarton played for the Indians in 2004-05. ... Royals right-hander Brandon Duckworth has been assigned to Class A Wilmington to begin his injury rehabilitation from a rib cage strain. He's been on the disabled list since June 14. Duckworth has been throwing at the Royals' camp in Surprise, Ariz., along with another injured starter, John Thomson.

Royals rundown: Billy Buckner pitched 8 1/3 shutout innings, and Justin Huber banged his fourth homer in five games in Triple-A Omaha's 2-0 win over Las Vegas on Friday. ... Carlos Rosa and Jarod Plummer combined for a three-hitter in a 3-0 win for Double-A Wichita over Arkansas. Plummer struck out seven of the 10 batters he faced. ... Rowdy Hardy improved his record to 14-3 as Class A Wilmington beat Frederick, 8-6. Mark Maddux had three hits and Jeremy Cleveland hit his first homer. ... Wilson Tucker drove in three runs in Rookie Burlington, N.C.'s 12-3 romp over Johnson City. ... David Wood's two hits upped his average to .362 for the Rookie Royals, 2-1 winners over the Arizona A's.

Coming up: The Royals close out their trip at 12:05 p.m. CT on Sunday against the Yankees. Meche (7-8, 3.70 ERA) is matched against right-hander Mike Mussina (6-7, 4.75). Kansas City is off on Monday.

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