DeJesus leads attack on Tigers in win
Kansas City moves closer to Detroit in AL Central standings
DETROIT -- David DeJesus wasn't about to waste any time attacking Detroit starting pitcher Zach Miner.
He knew about Miner's 3-0 record and 1.29 ERA against the Royals this season. So DeJesus ripped Miner's first pitch of the game into right-center field for a triple.
That resulted in the Royals' first run, on Mike Aviles' single, and they were on the way to a 6-2 victory over the Tigers on Monday night as 36,482 fans watched at Comerica Park.
"I didn't want to wait around, because he's got that good sinker and that good changeup, and when you get that straight fastball, you might as well take a rip at it," DeJesus said.
And now the last-place Royals are just one game behind the Tigers in the American League Central standings. A chance to escape a fifth straight finish at the bottom is within reach.
"Hopefully," Aviles said. "The plan is to finish up strong. We're going to go out there and try to have some good games. If we catch 'em, we catch 'em. It'll be a big step with the organization and the direction we're going."
DeJesus wound up with a perfect night, 4-for-4 with a walk, and raised his average to .307. He likes the idea of finishing above .300 personally, and out of fifth place as a team.
"It's a step in the right direction," he said. "We've finished last in the last few years, so it'd be a nice changeup. Fourth place and next year comes around and you've got to give us 'not last place.' "
Gil Meche pitched six innings for his 13th victory and assured himself of a winning season. He has 11 losses.
"The start I had put me in a bind to have a good season and fortunately, I had a good second half," Meche said.
There's no doubt now that he's fulfilling the expectations that the Royals had when, two years ago, they signed him to a five-year, $55 million deal.
"I just credit the decision that was made to sign him to an extended contract," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "That was some really good scouting and some forethought there. I think, even last year, we saw the benefits of that just from his numbers."
Meche got a 3-0 lead in the fifth. Successive singles by Alberto Callaspo, DeJesus and Aviles produced a run. Jose Guillen was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Ryan Shealy rapped into a double play and another run was in.
Callaspo extended his hitting streak to 16 games (20-for-56, .357) and DeJesus' streak reached 13 games (21-for-49, .429).
Meche had clear sailing until the sixth when the Tigers got their only two runs. He felt his biggest out was his strikeout of Matt Joyce to end the inning and preserve a 3-2 lead.
The Royals upped their lead to 4-2 in the seventh, when reliever Gary Glover issued a bases-loaded walk to Shealy. Then Mark Teahen's liner toward left was snared by third baseman Brandon Inge, who caught Guillen off second for an inning-ending double play.
But they added two runs in the eighth on a wild pitch and DeJesus' RBI single.
The two singles, double and triple marked the seventh four-hit game of DeJesus' career. All of them have come on the road and three of them have been at Detroit.
Meanwhile, the bullpen backed Meche with three perfect innings -- two by Ramon Ramirez and one by John Bale.
The bullpen has been doing its bit during the Royals' hot 14-7 September.
And there's a basic that goes with any winning club:
"I think we're getting good starting pitching. It doesn't feel like we're going to get blown out," DeJesus said. "When we get on the board early, we're like, 'Awright, we can win this game.' "
And, perhaps, finish out of last place.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.