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08/26/07 12:23 AM ET

Royals call on ace Meche in finale

Royals (57-71) vs. Indians (71-57) , Sunday, 1:10 p.m. CT

Gil Meche has done just about everything the Royals expected of him.

He's given them 27 starts, and 16 of them are considered quality starts. That's the most by a Royals pitcher since Darrell May had 16 in 2003. Meche has not missed a turn, and, at 169 1/3 innings, he's just 17 1/3 shy of his career high.

What Meche would like to have more of, though, is victories. He ranks fourth on the Royals' staff, behind Brian Bannister (10) and Jorge De La Rosa and Odalis Perez (eight each).

More run support would help. In his 11 losses, the Royals have scored just 10 runs while he's been in the game.

Meche hasn't won in his last six starts -- or since beating the Tigers 37 days ago.

His foe, Fausto Carmona, is also suffering from weak run support, and has gone 1-4 in his last five starts. Carmona, however, still has 14 victories.

Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Gil Meche (7-11, 3.88 ERA)
Meche finally ended a five-start losing string on Monday night when he was lifted in the sixth inning with a 3-2 lead over the White Sox. He didn't have a decision, but pitched pretty well, both runs coming on Scott Podsednik's home run. Meche hasn't posted a victory since July 20 against the Tigers. This year, he's faced the Indians once and got the win July 14, even though he lasted just five innings and gave up four runs.

CLE: RHP Fausto Carmona (14-8, 3.11 ERA)
Carmona has been as solid his last five starts as he's been at any other point in this splendid '07 season -- with next to nothing to show for it. He has a 2.19 ERA over those five starts, but a lack of offensive support has led him to go 1-4, severely hampering his chances of reaching the 20-win mark. He was brilliant against the Tigers on Tuesday, holding them to two runs -- a pair of solo homers -- on three hits with no walks and five strikeouts over eight innings. He needed just 77 pitches to notch the complete game, but it was all for naught in a 2-1 loss.

Players to watch
Jhonny Peralta is 6-for-10, .600, against Meche with two walks. One of the hits was a home run. Alex Gordon is 6-for-8, .750, against Carmona with two doubles, a triple and a walk.

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Up next
• Monday: Off-day
• Tuesday: Royals (Brian Bannister, 10-7, 3.28) vs. Tigers (Nate Robertson, 7-10, 4.80), 7:10 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Royals (Zack Greinke, 5-5, 4.25) vs. Tigers (Andrew Miller, 5-4, 4.97), 7:10 p.m. CT

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.