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Archive for Sunday, September 7, 2008

Meche pitches K.C. past Tribe

September 7, 2008

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— Gil Meche got his earned-run average under 4.00, set a season high for strikeouts and won for the first time in more than a month.

Not a bad night for the Kansas City right-hander.

Meche pitched three-hit ball for seven innings and struck out 10, pitching the Royals past Cleveland, 3-1, on Saturday night to snap the Indians' 10-game road winning streak.

Cleveland hadn't lost away from home since Aug. 6 at Tampa Bay.

Meche (11-10) started 1-4 with an 8.00 ERA in his first five starts, but has allowed two earned runs or less in eight of 10 starts since the All-Star break, lowering his ERA to 3.96.

"I've got to keep it there," he said. "After the first month, I knew I would turn it around. I knew it wouldn't be that bad all year long. I've been on a good roll, a good 20-something starts I've pitched pretty good."

Meche, who was 0-1 with four no-decisions since an Aug. 4 win over Boston, matched his season high for strikeouts. That brought his season total to a career-high 158, the third straight year he has fanned at least 150.

"I'm not really trying to get them," Meche said. "I'm throwing a lot more changeups to righties, which is a huge pitch. I haven't done that in the past."

Meche entered 3-7 with a 5.20 ERA in 16 career starts against the Indians, but is 2-0 with a 1.70 ERA against them in his past four outings.

"They've had my number for a long time. Even my first start against them this year they beat me up pretty bad," Meche said. "I don't know if it is figuring out how to pitch them or just having really good stuff on the days I've faced them. When you face guys over and over, you start to have a feel for them. I pitch against them a lot. You've got to make adjustments and I have."

David DeJesus went 3-for-4, his third three-hit game in four games, and drove in two runs. Joakim Soria worked a flawless ninth for his 35th save in 37 opportunities.

One of Soria's blown saves was against the Indians on Aug. 20, when Meche was pulled after seven innings having allowed only two hits.

"I don't think about that," Soria said. "Closers have to have a short memory."

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