Royals scratch Meche's start because of tired shoulder

Who knew tired shoulders were contagious?

The Royals scratched right-hander Gil Meche from his scheduled start tonight against the Los Angeles Angels because of a fatigued shoulder.

The move followed Brian Bannister’s early exit from Wednesday’s 10-4 loss at Oakland because of the same ailment.

Plans called for long reliever Robinson Tejeda to replace Meche for the 7:10 p.m. game at Kauffman Stadium, although steady showers throughout the afternoon threatened a rainout.

Tejeda is 1-1 with a 4.07 ERA in 29 relief appearances but has allowed just one hit in his last 7 2/3 innings. His last start was nearly a year ago when he pitched five innings on Sept. 13, 2008, in an 8-4 victory at Cleveland.

Meche’s shoulder is his latest problem in an injury-filled and disappointing season. He is 6-10 with a 5.09 ERA in 24 starts after going 14-11 and 3.48 last season in 34 starts.

He battled back problems in spring training and early in the season before experiencing a dead arm in late June. He missed more than a month because of a lower-back problem before returning Aug. 13.