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Meche feels fine vs. M’s

SURPRISE, Ariz. – Gil Meche’s back feels better, which is great news for the Kansas City Royals.

Meche threw 55 pitches Wednesday and Kansas City beat the Seattle Mariners 9-2 behind homers by Billy Butler and Mitch Maier.

Meche was making only his second Cactus League start after being slowed by back spasms. He tossed 21/3 innings, allowing two runs, five hits and two walks. The right-hander last worked in a “B” game Friday against Texas.

Chris Jakubauskas is a long shot to make Seattle’s opening-day roster, but he certainly helped his chances.

Jakubauskas pitched three hitless innings in an emergency start. He replaced left-hander Erik Bedard, scratched from his scheduled outing because of a sore left hip.

“Right now we’re not concerned because it’s not in the hip joint, it’s more in the muscle,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “I think it’s just really about being on the mound again. This is more muscle soreness.”

Jakubauskas walked one and struck out two.

Butler hit a three-run homer and Maier a two-run shot in a six-run fourth against Justin Thomas, who gave up six runs and retired only one of the seven batters he faced.

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