Meche has been the Mariners’ best pitcher with a 5-2 record and 3.06 ERA in eight starts. The 24-year-old has won four of his last five starts. Seattle hopes Meche can give them a quality outing to make up for Freddy Garcia’s meltdown on Wednesday.
Carlos Beltran hit two three-run homers and Kansas City tied a team record by hitting six home runs as the Royals broke a four-game losing streak with a 14-5 win over the Mariners on Wednesday. Garcia gave up the first three homers, losing his third straight start.
“He’s going through a real tough time,” Royals manager Tony Pena said. “It is easy for a position player to get out of a slump when they know they can play every day. It’s tougher for a starting pitcher.”
The six homers tied a Kansas City team record, established July 14, 1991, at Detroit.
Meche has served up six home runs this season, but only one has come over his last six outings. Opponents are batting .227 against Meche with lefties hitting a paltry .189.
Beltran is 0-for-3 with a strikeout in his career against Meche. After a slow start to the season, the Royals star outfielder has been tearing it up at the plate. He’s batting .359 (14-for-39) with five home runs over the last 11 games.
The 26-year-old outfield hit .184 in April, but has rebounded to hit .317 in May.
Beltran has feasted off Mariners pitching in his career. He’s batting .317 (51-for-161) with eight home runs in 40 games against Seattle.
The Mariners defeated the Royals 7-4 in the first game of the series on Tuesday.
STANDINGS: Royals - 2nd place, 1/2 GB, AL Central. Mariners - 1st place, AL West.
ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: Jeremy Affeldt (3-1, 4.33 ERA). Affeldt is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in two career starts versus Seattle. The 23-year-old righty didn’t figure in the decision his last time out. Affeldt allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings as Kansas City lost to Toronto 7-4 on Saturday. He’s held the opposition to three runs or less five straight starts.
MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Meche (5-2, 3.06 ERA). Meche gave up three runs and struck out four over six innings to earn a 6-3 win over Detroit on Friday.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Royals - Desi Relaford, .310 avg.; Ibanez and Beltran, 8 HRs; Sweeney, 27 RBIs; Ibanez, 29 runs; Relaford and Beltran, 6 SBs. Mariners - Edgar Martinez, .333 avg. and 36 RBIs; Brett Boone, 11 HRs and 37 runs; Ichiro Suzuki, 8 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: tied, 1-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Royals - RHP Miguel Asencio was placed on the 15-day DL on Wednesday with swelling in his throwing elbow. Kansas City called up LHP Scott Mullen from Triple-A Omaha. … RHP Runelvys Hernandez, who missed his scheduled start Tuesday, will miss another start because of a sore throwing elbow. … 1B Sweeney went 0-for-3 on Wednesday to snap a nine-game hitting streak. Mariners - OF Suzuki has a 12-game hitting streak. He’s tied for fifth in the AL with 58 hits. … According to the Mariners public relations office, 2B Boone is one of six players to homer off all 30 clubs. The others are Rafael Palmeiro, Fred McGriff, Richie Sexson, Eric Davis and Glenallen Hill. … DH Martinez is tied for fourth in the AL with a .333 batting average.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Royals - 12-12 on the road; Mariners - 15-9 at home.
INJURIES: Royals - RHP Asencio (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Albie Lopez (groin), 15-day DL. Mariners - None.