for this game

Meche, Buck help Royals down Athletics

Jul 30, 2008 - 6:17 AM By Michael Duca PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Gil Meche pitched seven outstanding innings and rookie Mike Aviles and John Buck each launched home runs as the Kansas City Royals claimed a 5-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

Meche (9-9) allowed two runs and five hits while walking two and striking out eight en route to his third win in as many starts. The 29-year-old righthander is 6-1 with a 2.67 ERA since June 10.

"My fastball had a lot of life," Meche said. "I was able to get some pitches by guys, up in the zone, when I needed to."

"He pitched well tonight," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "The difference tonight was that his curve was breaking deep and late, and he didn't have to throw many cutters at all."

Aviles helped the Royals take control. He led off the fourth inning with a triple to center field and scored one batter later when veteran Mark Grudzielanek lifted Athletics rookie starter Greg Smith's next pitch to left field for a sacrifice fly.

"It was the 0-2 pitch to Aviles, that he hit for a triple," Smith said. "The ball's right down the middle, and 0-2 you just can't do that."

Aviles' .318 batting average is tops among American League rookies and the Royals' shortstop ranks among the leaders in a number of other offensive categories.

"I don't want to put any limitations on anyone but nobody could have reasonably expected this kind of success when we brought him up," Hillman said of Aviles.

After Oakland tied the score on Mark Ellis' RBI single in the bottom of the frame, Aviles put Kansas City back on top with a solo blast in the sixth - his sixth homer.

"I just went up there looking for a pitch I could drive," Aviles said. "He threw me a cutter, it was kind of straight, and I was able to get the good part of the bat on it."

The Royals broke open the game in the seventh. Alex Gordon's one-out line drive to right was trapped by Ryan Sweeney for a double, advancing pinch runner Mitch Maier to third. Maier was retired on a ground ball to first, but Buck hit an 0-1 pitch from Smith well into the bleachers above left field for a 5-1 advantage.

"Smith was pitching well, making pitches when he needed to," Buck said. "I was looking changeup, he blew one past me. He threw the same pitch twice, pretty straight fastball, middle in, and I got all of it."

Smith (5-10), who had allowed two or fewer runs in half of his 20 starts before Tuesday, allowed five runs and four hits in seven innings. The rookie lefthander walked two and struck out five, suffering his fourth loss in as many starts.

The Athletics narrowed the deficit to 5-2 in the seventh on an RBI groundout by Bobby Crosby. But after Ron Mahay pitched a perfect eighth, closer Joakim Soria worked around a two-out hit by Jack Hannahan in the ninth to collect his 29th save.

Soria set a single-season save record for pitchers born in Mexico, surpassing Juan Acevedo, who held the mark with 28 in 2002 with the Detroit Tigers.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 0 0 5 5 0
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: KAN - GIL MECHE, RON MAHAY (8TH), JOAKIM SORIA (9TH) AND JOHN BUCK
    OAK - GREG SMITH, JERRY BLEVINS (8TH), LENNY DINARDO
    (9TH) AND KURT SUZUKI

    HOME RUNS: KAN - MIK

    Jul 30 12:32 AM
  • 29
    roots
    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Royals 5, Athletics 2  Bot 9, 0 OutsJul 30 12:26 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY BOBBY CROSBY SCORED MARK ELLIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J HANNAHAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 5
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: B CONRAD (.158, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals 5, Athletics 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 29 11:56 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY JOHN BUCK (8) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF GREG SMITH SCORED ALEX GORDON AND MARK TEAHEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 5, OAKLAND 1
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: R GLOAD (.267, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals 5, Athletics 1  Top 7, 0 OutsJul 29 11:46 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIKE AVILES (6) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF GREG SMITH.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2, OAKLAND 1
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M GRUDZIELANEK (.301, 0-FOR-1, SF, RBI)

    Royals 2, Athletics 1  Top 6, 0 OutsJul 29 11:26 PM
  • 24
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 19 roots

    Royals 1, Athletics 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 29 11:13 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Royals 1, Athletics 1  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 29 11:11 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK ELLIS SCORED JACK CUST.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M ELLIS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 1
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J HANNAHAN (.234, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals 1, Athletics 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 29 11:06 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MARK GRUDZIELANEK SCORED MIKE AVILES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 1
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J GUILLEN (.260, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals 1, Athletics 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 29 10:57 PM