Meche leads Royals to win over Twins

Meche leads Royals to win over Twins

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 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins -- on a gorgeous 73-degree Wednesday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Perhaps Meche sniffed something.

"It's kind of weird, whenever I have allergies or a cold or whatever I have, I always seem to pitch pretty good," Meche said.

"We had a seven-game losing streak and I hadn't won forever. My streak was bound to end, and so was the team's."

How aware of the 100-loss thing were the players?

"C'mon, we knew we had 62 wins," David DeJesus said. "You could see the signs up with the people in the stands. So we're not worried about that anymore."

Besides that, losing 100 games would have meant the Royals would have gone 0-25 down the stretch. Not really a likely scenario.

"That's another thing," DeJesus said. "That's putting it simply, right there."

DeJesus did his part with a run-scoring triple in the second inning and a two-run homer in the sixth. The three RBIs gave him a career-best 57.

Mark Teahen had three hits -- a double, a homer and a single -- in his first three at-bats. So, each of his last two trips of the plate, everyone expected him to belt a triple for the cycle.

"They were wrong," Teahen said with a chuckle.

A major development for Meche was the four runs the Royals scored for him in the first three innings. He seemingly had labored alone this year, the Kansas City providing him with a pallid 3.82 runs per nine innings. That was the least support given to any qualifying starter in the American League.

"Once we got four runs, I felt great," Meche said. "I've just been an unlucky guy this season. I'm not going to pout about it or anything. I've been around long enough to know that happens to a certain guy every season."

This was Meche's first victory in 10 starts. He cut down the first nine batters, striking out four of them.

"He was a little more aggressive with his fastball on both sides of the plate," catcher John Buck said. "He had more strikeouts and it made his offspeed pitches all the more effective."

Meche had a two-hit shutout after six innings, then faltered in the seventh. He gave up back-to-back doubles to Jason Kubel and Torii Hunter, and a two-out RBI single to Chris Heintz. When he followed that with his only walk, David Riske emerged from the bullpen to get the final out.

"I thought that was the best stuff Meche has had in a while," manager Buddy Bell said. "We got him some runs which, as everybody knows, we don't normally do."

So Meche's skid was over, the Royals' skid was over, and the specter of 100 losses had vanished into the mist.

"I never really thought about it a whole lot, to be honest with you," Bell said. "I know one thing. It's not very much fun to lose a hundred, I can tell you that."

He would know, having presided over the Royals' 100-loss seasons the last two seasons.

"I never thought that this team would lose a hundred," Bell said, "so I don't think it's that big of a deal. I always believed from the very beginning that that wasn't going to be the case."

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