CLEVELAND Gil Meche said he had awful stuff in the bullpen. Tell that to the Cleveland Indians.
Meche tied a career high with 11 strikeouts over seven innings and was backed by three Kansas City Royals home runs in a 9-0 win over the Indians last night.
I felt absolutely horrible warming up in the bullpen, Meche said. It s weird. I just went out and tried to attack the [strike] zone and things fell in place.
Alberto Callaspo had a career-high four hits including his first career grand slam for Kansas City. The Royals also got two-run homers from Jose Guillen and Miguel Olivo to win for only the fourth time in their last 19 games.
It s been a while, Guillen said of the offensive outburst. Hopefully we learned something and will start playing real baseball again.
Kansas City averaged only 2.4 runs and was shut out four times in its previous 16 games.
Meche (3-5) allowed four hits and three walks in his first win in seven starts. Since beating Minnesota on May 3, the right-hander had gone 0-3 with a 4.02 ERA with the Royals losing each time. Meche improved to 19-6 in his career in the month of June. The 30-year-old has only a 62-67 record in all other months combined.
Guillen and Olivo each hit their seventh homers of the season in the Royals four-run fourth off Carl Pavano (6-5). Callaspo connected off the right-hander to make it 9-0 in the fifth.
Pavano, coming off a 6-0 win in Chicago over the White Sox on Friday, allowed nine runs and 11 hits over 42/3 innings. He had gone 6-1 in his previous eight starts since May 1.
The right-hander blamed himself for losing focus after not getting off the mound quickly enough to cover first base on a ground single to the right side by Mark Teahen that loaded the bases for Callaspo.
I didn t do my job, Pavano said. That was a mental error that can t happen. Then I gave up the grand slam. That was pretty much the ballgame.
Cleveland dropped back into last place, a half-game behind the Royals in the AL Central.
Kansas City, which led the division by three games on May 7 has gone a major league-worst 7-22 since.
The Indians best chance against Meche came in the fifth. They loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, but center fielder Willie Bloomquist made a nice running catch in right-center of Jamey Carroll s bid for extra bases to end the inning.