As if a 10-2 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Mariners wasn’t excruciating enough, the most painful part of Friday night’s loss may be the loss of staff ace Gil Meche.

The right-hander exited in the fifth inning after complaining of tightness in his lower back.  He was charged with seven runs on 11 hits.

"I tried to stretch it out in the second inning. I tried to get into a groove and loosen up," he said. "I just couldn’t push."

A leadoff home run by Ichiro Suzuki was a sign of things to come.  Meche’s ERA rose from 2.44 to 3.18.

"Nothing was sharp and my velocity dropped quite a bit," he said. "The lower back knotted up so bad I just couldn’t push. I need to start stretching more until I get comfortable. I’ll be fine tomorrow or the next day."

The Royals said Meche would be re-evaluated today.