for this game

Meche helps Royals edge Red Sox

Aug 5, 2008 - 4:26 AM By Alan Eskew PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Gil Meche is unbeaten in four starts for the Kansas City Royals since the All-Star break, and the Boston Red Sox are under the .500 mark in that span.

Meche held the struggling Red Sox to two runs and four hits in six innings as the surging Royals recorded a 4-3 triumph on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series.

The Red Sox, who are 7-9 since the All-Star break, swept a four-game series from the Royals in May at Fenway Park.

Meche is 4-0 with a 1.71 ERA since the break, allowing five earned runs and 16 hits in 26 1/3 innings, while striking out 27 and walking nine. Over a longer stretch, Meche (10-9) is 7-1 with a 2.68 ERA in his past 11 starts.

"I knew I had good stuff," Meche said. "They were swinging at a lot of pitches up in the zone and luckily that was where my release point was today and I was able to get away with it. For the most part, everything was kind of up and they kept swinging, which worked to my advantage."

The righthander allowed two runs on two doubles and a walk in the first inning and nothing after that while striking out nine.

"You obviously don't want to walk people, especially five against a team like that, but they didn't capitalize on it except in the first inning," Meche said. "Other than that, I stayed out of trouble. I got into a rhythm. They were swinging at some pitches that weren't strikes and I got away with it."

Red Sox rookie starter Clay Buchholz, however, is going the opposite direction. Buchholz (2-7) is 0-5 in his past six starts.

"It's steps," Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek said of Buchholz's progress. "He needs to pitch out of jams and put up some more zeros. They had some good hitting in that inning. It's just a little feel. He needs to continue to be more effective with his breaking ball."

The young righthander gave up four runs on seven hits - including Alex Gordon's solo homer in the second - while walking three.

"He had that devastating curveball and we wanted to be aggressive on his fastball and he gave me one inside and I was able to jump all over it," Gordon said.

The Royals batted around in a three-run third and were sparked by rookie Mike Aviles, who was named the American League co-player of the week after hitting .577. He singled and later advanced to third on Esteban German's single before coming around on Mark Teahen's single.

Billy Butler's sacrifice fly scored German with the go-ahead run and John Buck was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in an insurance run.

"I don't know why; it's been like that all year," Buchholz said of having one bad inning. "I needed to make a pitch and get a ground ball, and I did, but it was hit 150 miles per hour (German's single). It feels like I'm just an inch away. I feel like I might be starting to press a bit. I'm not catching any breaks at all. The great players who play this game catch the breaks and that's what I need to do."

Sean Casey and Jed Lowrie had back-to-back singles with two outs off reliever Ramon Ramirez in the eighth before Ron Mahay was summoned to face Jason Varitek, who he struck him out to end the threat.

"It didn't start well, 3-and-0 against him," Mahay said. "We're close friends off the field. I was able to comeback and he fouled off some really good pitches (three with two strikes). I got him with a fastball. I'm not going to toy around."

Joakim Soria worked the ninth to log his 32nd save in 34 opportunities, but gave up a run on a Jason Bay infield single and escaped a bases loaded, two-out jam.

"We had a real chance to win the game," said Casey, who flied out to right to end the game. "We got some runs in and had some good at-bats in the ninth. We maybe should have squeaked another one through.

"It was an 0-2 (Soria) curveball and I was sitting on it. I really thought I got it in. I thought I got it past him and in the corner, but he was playing around that way. Soria's a good pitcher; that's why he was in the All-Star Game."

The Red Sox went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners.

"It got a little hairy," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "Obviously the strikeout by Ronnie was huge. We were helped out. They left some runners on base, but they weren't as patient as they normally are."








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

    BATTERIES: BOS - CLAY BUCHHOLZ, JUSTIN MASTERSON (7TH), JAVIER LOPEZ (8TH) AND
    JASON VARITEK
    KAN - GIL MECHE, RAMON RAMIREZ (7TH), RON MAHAY (8TH),
    JOAKIM SORIA (9TH) AND JOH

    Aug 4 11:10 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON BAY SCORED COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BAY ON FIRST, K YOUKILIS ON SECOND, J
    ELLSBURY ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3
    KANSAS CITY 4 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: S CASEY (.357, 1-FOR-4)

    Red Sox 3, Royals 4  Top 9, 0 OutsAug 4 11:08 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Red Sox 3, Royals 4  Top 9, 0 OutsAug 4 11:08 PM
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 2, Royals 4  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 4 10:20 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 18 roots

    Red Sox 2, Royals 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 4 9:45 PM
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    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 2, Royals 4  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 4 9:40 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    JOHN BUCK HIT BY CLAY BUCHHOLZ PITCH WITH BASES LOADED
    SCORED MARK TEAHEN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J BUCK ON FIRST, A GORDON ON SECOND, J
    GUILLEN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    KANSAS CITY 4 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: R GLOAD (.274, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 2, Royals 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 4 9:09 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY BILLY BUTLER SCORED ESTEBAN GERMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J GUILLEN ON FIRST, M TEAHEN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    KANSAS CITY 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: A GORDON (.254, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)

    Red Sox 2, Royals 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 4 9:04 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK TEAHEN SCORED MIKE AVILES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEAHEN ON FIRST, E GERMAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    KANSAS CITY 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J GUILLEN (.260, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 2, Royals 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 4 9:00 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ALEX GORDON (13) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF CLAY BUCHHOLZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2, KANSAS CITY 1
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J BUCK (.247, 8 HR, 38 RBI)

    Red Sox 2, Royals 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 4 8:40 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: BOS - CLAY BUCHHOLZ
    KAN - GIL MECHE

    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M AVILES (.340, 7 HR, 31 RBI)
    E GERMAN (.244, 0 HR, 15 RBI)
    M TEAHEN (.243, 10 HR, 34 RBI)

    Red Sox 2, Royals 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 4 8:21 PM
  • bones just listening to the crowd, you'd think this was a home game for the sox

    Red Sox vs. RoyalsAug 4 8:20 PM
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    Red Sox vs. RoyalsJul 30 12:45 PM