07/29/07 6:33 PM ET
Streaking Royals hit the road
Kansas City (47-57) at Minnesota (53-51), Monday, 7:10 p.m. CT
By Conor Nicholl / MLB.com
Meche will receive his opportunity Monday night when he opens a seven-game road trip against Minnesota. The ace was superb for seven innings in his last outing, but allowed Alex Rodriguez's 499th homer in the eighth inning and took the loss in a 5-1 defeat.
Since then, Kansas City's starting pitching has been outstanding. The quartet of Jorge De La Rosa, Brian Bannister, Odalis Perez and Leo Nunez combined for four wins and just three runs allowed in 24 1/3 innings.
Meche will try to make it five straight strong starts. The Royals' workhorse all season, Meche ranks among the league leaders in ERA (3.76), innings pitched (141 1/3) and quality starts. He has won four of his past five decisions and the boys in blue are 6-2 in his last eight starts.
A win would tie the Royals' season-best win streak, a streak set from June 24-29.Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Gil Meche (7-7, 3.76 ERA)
Meche's final line didn't show it, but he pitched admirably against the Yankees on Wednesday night. He allowed five runs in 7 1/3 innings, but through seven innings, he permitted just three runs. With a depleted bullpen, Meche was sent back out for the eighth. On his 120th pitch, Meche threw a 3-2 cutter to Alex Rodriguez on the low-outside corner -- a perfect spot -- but A-Rod hit it over the wall for a two-run blast and his 499th career homer. Meche has one of the best road ERAs in the American League (2.97). He is 5-1 with a 4.44 ERA against the Twins lifetime. MIN: RHP Scott Baker (4-4, 5.30 ERA)
Baker took the loss in his last outing despite a relatively solid performance. He allowed four runs on six hits over seven innings. One of those earned runs can't be blamed on Baker because center fielder Torii Hunter lost sight of a fly ball off the bat of Toronto's Aaron Hill, who eventually came around to score. Baker is 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA in three career starts against Kansas City.
Player to watch
Mark Teahen, who started to break out his slump Sunday, has had success against Baker in the past. He has hit .375 (3-for-8) versus the Twins' right-hander in his career.
Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.
Official game notes On television
RSTN On radio
WHB Up next
Tuesday: Royals (Jorge De La Rosa, 8-10, 5.35) at Twins (Carlos Silva, 8-11, 4.76), 7:10 p.m. CT
Wednesday: Royals (Brian Bannister, 7-6, 3.42) at Twins (Boof Bonser, 5-7, 4.73), 7:10 p.m. CT
Thursday: Royals (Odalis Perez, 6-9, 5.73) at Twins (Johan Santana, 11-8, 2.92), 12:10 p.m. CT
Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.