Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers regained the American League lead with his 44th home run of the season as he seeks to become Major League Baseball’s first hitter to win the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
Cabrera also leads the AL with a .329 batting average and his 137 runs batted in are the best in the majors with two days left in the regular season.
Cabrera, the Tigers’ third baseman, had four hits in five at-bats last night as Detroit beat the Kansas City Royals 6-3 to capture the AL Central Division title and earn back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time since 1934-35.
Cabrera’s solo home run in the sixth inning last night moved him one ahead of Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers for the AL lead. In the AL batting race, Cabrera remains just ahead of Los Angeles Angels rookie outfielder Mike Trout, who boosted his average to .325 by going 4-for-5 last night.
Yastrzemski was the last hitter to win the Triple Crown 45 years ago by batting .326 with 44 homers and 121 RBI for the Boston Red Sox. Frank Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Ty Cobb and Nap Lajoie are the only other players in AL history to win the Triple Crown.
Cabrera’s Tigers finish the regular season in Kansas City with games today and tomorrow against the Royals.