KANSAS CITY -- The latest test on Gil Meche's right shoulder was an unqualified success.

Meche threw five shutout innings against a team of Minor Leaguers on Tuesday in Surprise, Ariz.

The Royals reported that Meche gave up two hits and two walks with nine strikeouts. He threw 81 pitches.

"That was probably as sharp as I've been," Meche said from the Royals' training complex.

"Just to get my pitch count up, I think we extended two or three innings just to get an extra out. But, overall, it was really good, it was really sharp. I was throwing all the pitches for strikes and I finally saw the movement on the pitch I hadn't been throwing, my curveball. That was one pitch that really came in today, and my changeup was as good as the last time out."

Now on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder bursitis, Meche is eligible to be reinstated on Saturday, and he was asked if he could start against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.

"I would imagine," Meche said. "I'll be at the ballpark [Wednesday], and we'll just see what happens."

Meche has been working his way back since leaving a Cactus League game on March 22 after three innings because of stiffness between his neck and right shoulder. Now there are no such symptoms.

"No problems, no soreness, just keep moving," Meche said.

Gordon set for rehab assignment

KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Alex Gordon's return from a broken right thumb continues on schedule.

Gordon was assigned on Tuesday to begin an injury rehabilitation assignment with the Royals' Class A club at Wilmington, Del. He'll join the Blue Rocks on Thursday for a game at Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Injured on March 6 in a Cactus League game in Surprise, Ariz., Gordon was expected to be able to play by around Opening Day, which for the Royals, was on Monday. Now, a month after the injury, he appears to be ready.

Gordon was injured on a headfirst slide into second base when his hand jammed the foot of the Rangers' Joaquin Arias. Gordon stayed in the game but X-rays subsequently revealed the break at the tip of the thumb.

Although Gordon is eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday, he's not expected to return that soon.

Royals Charities plans 50/50 Fridays

KANSAS CITY -- Royals Charities will have a new fundraiser this season -- 50/50 Fridays. The first will be Friday night when the Royals play the Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium.

This is a charity raffle program in which volunteers will sell $1 raffle tickets throughout the stadium from the time the gates open through the sixth inning. One winning ticket will be drawn, with the winner taking half the net proceeds and the other half divided between a Kansas City charity and Royals Charities. The first KC charity will be Turning Point: The Center for Hope and Healing, an organization that provides support for those affected by serious or chronic illness.

There will be five other 50/50 Fridays: May 14, June 4, July 16, Aug. 13 and Sept. 17. For details, go to www.royals.com/5050.

Worth noting

Royals manager Trey Hillman thought Detroit had a pretty good approach against Zack Greinke on Opening Day. "They did a pretty good job of spitting on his slider," Hillman said. "They didn't swing out of the zone at his slider." Greinke's next start is set for Saturday against Boston. ... Although the Tigers' hard-throwing reliever, Joel Zumaya, is coming off shoulder surgery, he looked pretty impressive in their 8-4 win on Monday. "He still throws hard," the Royals' Willie Bloomquist said. "Any time you throw 102 miles an hour, it's tough not to be good. He's always had a power arm and he didn't lose much of it. If anything, he's gained some velocity. He just has a live arm, and he doesn't have a bad curveball, either, so you can't forget about that." Zumaya threw one inning-plus one batter and got credit for Monday's victory. ... Miguel Cabrera's 2-for-4 day Monday boosted his career average against the Royals to .347 (51-for-147) with 34 RBIs. And look out Luke Hochevar, who'll start on Wednesday night for the Royals. Cabrera is 8-for-9 (.889) against Hochevar. ... Wednesday's Tigers starter, Max Scherzer, was born in St. Louis and was a star for those other Tigers at the University of Missouri. Last season, Scherzer was 9-11 in 30 starts for Arizona.