Teahen's big day comes at opportune time

Teahen's day comes at opportune time

TORONTO -- Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Scott Richmond would have appreciated the two-run home run Mark Teahen hit at Rogers Centre on Saturday a little more if it had happened in March.

They were teammates on Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic then, and Richmond never had a chance to pitch because the team took a surprising loss to Italy at Rogers Centre and was eliminated after two games. Richmond was being held back for the next game, which never came.

After a tight, exciting loss to the United States in the first game, the Canadians just couldn't get the bats going against Italy.

"I would have taken it against Italy, we couldn't get anything going against them," Teahen said Saturday after the Royals ended an eight-game losing string with a 6-2 victory over the Blue Jays.

"You take them when you can get them."

In this case, his seventh home run of the season came against Richmond and tied the game at 2 during a five-run fifth inning. The versatile Teahen, who played third base, singled in another run in the eighth to give him 20 RBIs for the season.

Not only that, but his good day at the plate came before several members of his father's side of the family. Teahen was born and raised in California, but his father, Mike, was born and raised in St. Marys, Ont. An uncle, Gerry, is a director of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, which is in St. Marys.

"I've got quite a bit of family here, so it's always nice to have a good game for them," Teahen said.

Teahen, 27, has dual citizenship. How close does he consider himself to Canada?

"Probably closer than I should," Teahen said. "I've never lived up here or anything, but my dad's whole side of the family is up here, so I'm happy to have those roots here.

"Every time I come up here it's nice to see that side of the family. I'm fortunate because playing baseball has got me ... to reconnect with all those people and see them more often than I would on regular basis."

Teahen said he visited St. Marys a few times when he was younger and has been there a couple of times since the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame has been located there.

Teahen has been working on keeping his swing more compact.

"I've just been focusing on trying to get smaller," Teahen said. " I feel like I've been getting a little bit big. When I get smaller, I hit more home runs. Just keep things simpler."

He said he hopes that the Royals can continue to build on the victory against Toronto.

"It's a deep breath and we'll take it. Obviously, we haven't been playing our best baseball," Teahen said. "Hopefully we can get rolling a little bit from it."

Teahen also said the team's attitude has been good.

"I think we're doing a good job of staying positive," Teahen said. "Obviously, a stretch like that is hard on any team. We've stayed positive and continued to do a good job of coming to the field and working hard every day.

"We know if we can get back on the right track, the way our division is, we can get right back in the mix. I think we've done a good job of staying positive and trying to realize it's a long season. Nobody talks about the fact that we've dealt with quite a few injuries during this stretch where we haven't played that well. So it's about us getting healthy and continuing to grind away and keep ourselves in the mix."

Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.