Surprise, Ariz. The fourth inning wasn't pretty for the Royals' big-money pitcher on Saturday.
Gil Meche, who signed a five-year, $55 million contract with Kansas City in December, pitched three strong innings before all six Arizona batters he faced in the fourth inning reached base. The Diamondbacks went on to win, 6-3, on Saturday.
"I just fell apart in the fourth inning, no excuses," Meche said. "I was pleased with the first three innings. I had a terrible inning, just put it behind you and get your work in for my next start and go at them."
Meche is 0-2 with a 5.40 earned-run average in three spring training starts.
"My arm feels fine, so that's the biggest key," Meche said.
Meche gave up four runs on two walks and four hits - including a homer to Conor Jackson - before being pulled.
He allowed four runs on six hits and three walks in three-plus innings in the game.
Meche said he would look at video on Sunday to see if there was anything he was doing wrong mechanically.
"If I see anything, good," Meche said. "If not, I won't worry about it. Right now, you kind of maintain what you have and simplify things and get as sharp as you can."
Chris Snyder hit a two-run double in the fourth off Meche.
Brian Barden hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Joel Peralta, the third Kansas City pitcher, for the final Diamondbacks' runs.
The Royals scored all their runs in the first two innings. Mark Teahen's single in the first scored Esteban German, who singled to lead off the inning. German added a run-producing single in the second. The other Kansas City run scored when Ross Gload grounded into a double play.
¢Notes: LHP Randy Johnson, who is recovering from offseason back surgery, played catch Saturday for the second straight day. He is scheduled to throw his second batting practice session on Monday. The Diamondbacks believe Johnson may be able to return to their rotation in mid-to-late April. ... Royals CF David DeJesus has an abdominal virus and is not expected to return to the lineup until next Thursday or Friday. ... 2B Mark Grudzielanek took ground balls and batting practice for the first time since his March 5 knee surgery.