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Mound matchup: Meche vs. Harden

ARLINGTON, Texas – Kansas City RHP Gil Meche faces Texas RHP Rich Harden in the third game of the series at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. A look at the matchup:

Meche (0-3, 9.89 ERA): Meche has to be in the running as one of the most overpaid players in baseball with a $12.4 million salary. He’s given up at least five runs in four of his last five starts. He wasn’t a whole lot better last season, when he went 6-10 with a 5.09 ERA in the first season of a five-year, $55 million deal. The ex-Mariner hasn’t had much success in Arlington, where he has a career record of 3-6 with a 6.96 ERA. However, he pitched six scoreless innings to win his last start here in April 2009.

Harden (2-1, 3.52 ERA): He’s coming off a dominant start in Oakland’s pitcher’s park. He had a legitimate no-hit bid against the A’s, who he ended up holding to two hits and no walks in seven scoreless innings. Now it’d be nice if he could find his control at home. Batters are hitting only .220 against Harden at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, but he’s walked 14 in 14 innings at home. The Rangers need him to pitch much deeper into games than that.

Hitters: The Royals’ roster features nothing but favorable matchups for Harden. Current Kansas City hitters are a combined 3-for-43 (.070) with 12 strikeouts against him. … Scott Podsednik is the only Royal who has had any real success against Harden. Podsednik is 2-for-8 with a double and homer. Jose Guillen, the only Royal with double-digit at-bats against Harden, is 1-for-13 with four strikeouts. … Michael Young ought to be happy to see Meche. Young has a .409 average with two homers and nine RBI in 44 at-bats against Meche. … Vladimir Guerrero (9-for-30 with three homers) has also had success against Meche. … Meche, on the other hand, has owned Josh Hamilton, who is 1-for-10 with seven strikeouts against the righty.