Meche fine-tuning his starts

Meche fine-tuning his starts

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Gil Meche has one more start remaining in Arizona, but he looks like he's ready to start the season in Detroit.

Meche went one out shy of seven innings in Friday's 8-3 win over the Seattle Mariners. He upped his record to 3-1, kept his ERA at 2.70 and was sharp for the second straight outing.

"I was able to locate pitches down in the zone, both sides of the plate," Meche said. "I'm locating now probably better than I ever have. It's kind of weird.

"You like to see it right before you leave here because my first outings weren't that sharp. [Against] Milwaukee and today, I had the same stuff -- good fastball that has late life -- and all three pitches are working."

Meche used 89 pitches in his 6 2/3 innings. His bid to complete seven innings was stopped by two-out, back-to-back doubles.

"He did very well, controlled the ball, threw all his pitches for strikes, worked ahead in the count," manager Trey Hillman said. "Pretty much everything you want to see."

Meche got into a second-inning jam when Richie Sexson led off with a walk and Brad Wilkerson and Wladimir Balentien each singled. But he got two ground balls, one for a double play.

"The good thing is I'm also having good life without trying to overthrow," Meche said. "My arm just feels like it's in another gear. Why? I don't know, but it feels good."

Meche's last Spring Training start will be on Wednesday, also against the Mariners.

"For my next start, we might just go five innings," Meche said. "Not do so much, maybe 70 pitches, and then I'll be ready."

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