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Teahen feted with Player of the Week

Teahen feted with Player of the Week

On May 5, Royals third baseman Mark Teahen was struggling through his second year in the Majors. The 24-year-old was hitting a mere .195 when he was optioned to Triple-A Omaha to work on his batting stroke and try to save his season.

Clearly, the lessons paid off.

Teahen earned his first American League Player of the Week Award for the period ending July 30 after a torrid six-game stretch. He hit .400 (8-for-20) with three home runs, eight RBIs, seven runs scored and a .900 slugging percentage over the week.

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His week was highlighted by a career day on Tuesday in Kansas City's 7-5 win over Baltimore. Teahen's two homers and five RBIs in the game were both personal bests.

"That [game] has to be one of my highlights so far," Teahen said, though the young slugger resisted the calls from the Kauffman Stadium faithful for a curtain call.

"I refrained from doing a curtain call since it was still early in the game and the game was only tied," he explained. "We still had a lot of work to do. Hopefully, I'll have a lot of chances for curtain calls in the future."

The third baseman homered again as part of a 3-for-5 night on Friday in an 11-3 Royals win over Texas. Teahen delivered at least one hit in each game except in Saturday's 5-3 Royals victory, but still managed to score a run after drawing a career-high three walks from Rangers starter Kevin Millwood.

Teahen has hit .312 since being recalled on June 3, and has raised his average up to .275 on the season. He leads the Royals with 12 home runs, 10 of which have come since an adjustment in his stance while in the Minors.

"The coaching staff emphasized me using my legs more to build a strong base," Teahen said. "That has resulted in harder contact and ultimately pulling the ball more often."

Kansas City had high hopes that Teahen would continue to blossom in his second year in the Majors after finishing last season with a .303 average and 21 RBIs in his last 28 games. Instead, his slow start caused him to doubt himself -- something the month-long sojourn in Omaha corrected.

"I just wanted to get comfortable with my mechanics and the bat," Teahen said. "Most of all, I wanted to work on my confidence and remember how to enjoy the game."

The Player of the Week Award was the first of Teahen's career, and the first for a Royals player since outfielder David DeJesus was a co-winner of the Award on July 14-17, 2005.

Other players under consideration for the honor were Toronto third baseman Troy Glaus (.565, one home run, eight RBIs), New York shortstop Derek Jeter (.481, one home run, seven RBIs), Los Angeles pitcher John Lackey (2-0, 3.21 ERA), New York pitcher Mike Mussina (2-0, 3.46 ERA) and Los Angeles outfielder Juan Rivera (.440, two home runs, nine RBIs).

Andrew Polishuk is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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