Kansas City, Mo. Gil Meche wanted to finish what he started.
Meche pitched a four-hit shutout, and Mark Teahen had three hits and drove in a run as the Kansas City Royals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-0, Tuesday.
After eight innings and 110 pitches, Royals manager Trey Hillman came over to Meche in the dugout and said, “nice job.”
Meche, however, was not about to turn this game over to the bullpen, although Hillman had Joakim Soria and John Bale warming up.
“If I was really tired or if I felt my arm was getting heavy after 110, I would have taken myself out,” Meche said. “It is my career, too. By going out there, I’ve got to make sure I’m good enough to throw. That’s why I made the decision. I told him, ‘Look I feel fine. Let me go out there and get it.’ So he let me do it.
“I think everyone in this clubhouse understands when the starting pitcher has a chance to get a shutout, you don’t want to waste it. It doesn’t happen too often, especially for me. It’s good to finally get one as a Royal. I don’t have too many complete games (six), much less shutouts, and I wanted to go out there and get this one and felt I had a good chance to do it.
“It took a lot of pitches, especially on the last guy, he was killing me, but I was able to finish it.”
Stephen Drew flied out to David DeJesus in a 10-pitch at-bat to end the game.
“Anytime a pitcher can go a complete game shutout, even though it took him 130-plus pitches, it’s a good performance,” Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said. “He got the outs when he needed to get the outs. He controlled multiple pitches and pretty much shoved it down our throat. Meche was pitching on fumes at the end, and he found a way to finish it off.
“Defensive plays, whether it’s clutch hits, retiring the first batter, you’ve got to make plays, and they made more than we did.”
Meche’s shutout was the second of his career. His other came on Sept. 12, 2004 against Boston while with Seattle. It was his first complete game since Sept. 24, 2007, a 3-2 loss at Baltimore.
“It is something about the heat that brings back the Cajun in me,” Meche said. “Pitching in summer leagues and in high school (in Louisiana), sweating my butt off, something about it I like doing it. One thing that helped me out was (Doug) Davis worked so slow, it helped me out between innings, kinda caught my breath, cooled off in the batting cage with the AC. I felt pretty fresh.”
Meche has dominated interleague play, improving to 14-4. His .778 winning percentage against the National League tops all active pitchers with at least 20 interleague starts.
“He threw four pitches for strikes,” said Ryan Roberts, who had one of the Arizona hits. “He got the ball down and got us to swing at his pitch.”
Meche (4-5), who threw a career-high 132 pitches, held the Diamondbacks to four singles, while walking one and striking out six. Meche, who is 3-0 in four career starts against Arizona, has not allowed a run in his past two starts, covering 16 innings.
Teahen doubled to right to leadoff the second and scored on David DeJesus’ single. Teahen’s two-out single in the sixth scored Mike Jacobs, who had doubled.
Miguel Olivo’s fielder’s choice grounder in the first scored Willie Bloomquist. Olivo has nine RBIs in the past seven games.
Billy Butler’s sacrifice fly in the fifth scored DeJesus with an unearned run. DeJesus led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a Drew throwing error on a Willie Bloomquist grounder.
The Royals padded their lead in the eighth, which Jacobs led off with a double and scored on Alberto Callaspo’s single.
Diamondbacks starter Davis (3-8), who is 1-5 in his past nine starts, left after 5 2-3 innings, allowing four runs and six hits. He walked three and struck out five.
The Royals have won four straight to open this nine-game homestand against National League clubs. The Royals are 16-5 in their past 21 interleague games.
Notes: Royals RHP Kyle Farnsworth had four stitches in his left index finger after being bitten while breaking up a fight between his two bulldogs. Manager Trey Hillman said he does not expect Farnsworth would miss any time since the wound is to his non-pitching hand. ... Diamondbacks RHP Max Scherzer, who went to the University of Missouri, will start Wednesday, his first career appearance against the Royals.