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AL Batting Title: Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera in tight race

Miguel Cabrera is hoping to become a Triple Crown winner, but Joe Mauer is keeping things close as far as the AL batting title is concerned.

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Mauer falls behind Cabrera for AL batting title

Joe Mauer came into Monday's game hot on the heels of Detroit's Miguel Cabrera in the chase for the American League batting title. However, a 1-5 performance by Mauer against the Blue Jays and a 4-5 night by Cabrera has put the race essentially out of reach. Mauer is currently batting .322, trailing Cabrera's .329 mark by .007 with two games remaining. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire expects Mauer to play in the last two games of the season.

"He wants to be in there battling for it," Gardenhire said. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow and see where we're at tomorrow and go from there."

Mauer has never faced Tuesday night's starter for the Blue Jays, Chad Jenkins. He is 1-2 against the Jays' expected Wednesday night starter, Brandon Morrow, but hasn't faced him since the 2009 season. Cabrera is a combined 11-34 against the two Kansas City starters scheduled in their final two games.

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Mauer chases Cabrera for AL batting title

After another hot game on Sunday, Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer continues to come closer to to Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers in the American League batting title race.

Mauer went 3-for-4 against the Tigers, bringing his average on the season up to .323. He is now just two points behind Cabrera, who went 0-for-3 on Sunday.

Mauer's three-hit game Sunday snapped an 0-for-13 string that saw his average drop from .326 to .320. Since Sept. 10, Cabrera has hit safely in all but two games, making it tough for Mauer to spoil his chances at the Triple Crown.

Here are the latest numbers in the AL batting title race.

1. Miguel Cabrera DET - .325
2. Joe Mauer MIN - .323
3. Mike Trout LAA - .322
4. Adrian Beltre TEX - .321
5. Derek Jeter NYY - .318
6. Billy Butler KC - .312
7. Torii Hunter LAA - .309
8. Prince Fielder DET - .309
9. Robinson Cano NYY - .306
10. David Murphy TEX - .304

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AL batting title crown within reach for Joe Mauer

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer has closed the gap on Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Carbrera in the AL batting title race, and now Mauer has a legitimate chance to claim the highest batting average during the final six games of the season. Cabrera currently sits at .326, while Mauer clocks in at .323 and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is close behind at .320, heading into the games on Friday, Sept. 28.

In an interesting twist, Mauer (.414) is leading the on-base percentage race, but Prince Fielder (.410) is still close enough to strike. The Twins and Tigers have been through very different seasons, but those teams will meet for a three-game series over the weekend as the Tigers try to hold off the Chicago White Sox for the rights to the AL Central crown.

With the Twins sitting at the bottom of the division and trying to stay out of last place in the AL, Mauer's batting title chase is one of the lone bright spots for the remainder of 2012.

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Mauer and Cabrera face off for batting title

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer is attempting to win his fourth American League batting title by surpassing defending AL batting champ and current leader Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; the two will face off this weekend in Minnesota.

Mauer has been coming on strong of late, but did not help his cause on Wednesday, going 0-for-4 from the plate, but Cabrera also failed to get a hit. Mauer now stands at .323, with Cabrera at .327 as the Twins and Tigers face off in a three-game series starting Sept. 28. Also in contention are Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels at .323 and Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees at .320.

After a disappointing and injury-plagued 2011, Mauer has returned to form this year. He won batting titles in 2006 (.347), 2008 (.328), and 2009 (.365). Cabrera won his first title last season, batting .344, and is in contention for the triple crown this year. He is currently leading the league in batting average and RBIs and trails Josh Hamilton by only one HR. Mauer said he would love to win the title, but is not focusing on it.

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Joe Mauer is closing in on Miguel Cabrera

Joe Mauer is just barely holding on to a slim chance that he's able to catch Miguel Cabrera in a quest for the 2012 AL batting title. Tuesday night's game made his chances a bit better, though, as he was able to go 3-for-4, whereas the Detroit Tigers' slugger went 0-for-3.

Mauer helped the Minnesota Twins spoil the New York Yankees' night on Tuesday with a 5-4 victory. Since the Twins have been out of the playoff race for quite awhile, however, the fact that Mauer was able to help himself get closer to his personal goals helped more than the win likely did.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire talked about Mauer's quest for the batting title, too, in a conversation with the Star Tribune after the game.

"Mauer just continues on his pace," Manager Ron Gardenhire said. "This guy, he's totally incredible. He can flat out hit. It's amazing to see. He sets such a high standard that when he gets down there close to .300, people think he's struggling. That's a way you make a lot of money in this game, just hitting .300. He goes way above that."

With just a handful of games left in the regular season, Mauer has moved just three points behind Cabrera in the race with a .326 average. Cabrera's Tigers visit the Twins for a three-game series this weekend.

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Umpires stymie Joe Mauer's quest for batting title

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer has quietly clawed his way back into the AL batting title race, but he didn't get any favors from the umpires during Wednesday's 6-4 win against the Cleveland Indians. Third-base umpire Mike Muchlinski initially called Mauer's eighth-inning line drive to left field a hit, but when Indians manager Manny Acta came out to argue the call on a close play, Muchinski changed his call to take the hit away from Mauer and the inning ended on an out instead.

The race for the highest batting average may not be as exciting in the sabermetric era, when it's all about on-base and slugging percentages, but the top mark would still be seen as a big accomplishment considering that Mauer (.324) is chasing AL MVP hopefuls Mike Trout (.327) and Miguel Cabrera (.333).

Mauer doesn't have much time left to make up the margin, so the call to take away a hit on Wednesday night stings a bit more. He has paced the A.L. in batting average three times during his career: in 2006 he hit .347, in 2008 he hit .328 and in 2009 he hit .365 for the year.

For more on the Twins, check out Twinkie Town or stick with SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around MLB, head over to Baseball Nation.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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AL Batting Title: Joe Mauer Is Moving Up

The 2012 season has been one to forget for the Minnesota Twins, but not quite for catcher Joe Mauer. Mauer has quietly put himself within striking distance of the A.L. lead in batting average after another solid night on Tuesday. Entering play on Wednesday, Mauer's .325 average is third in the league behind Mike Trout's .327 and Miguel Cabrera's .333.

The added intrigue to the race for the batting title in 2012 is that Cabrera is currently making a serious run at the A.L. Triple Crown. Aside from holding the league lead in batting average, he is also first in RBI with 129 and second in homers to Josh Hamilton with 40.

Mauer, for his part, has led the A.L. in batting three times: in 2006 when he hit .347, in 2008 when he hit .328 and in 2009 when he hit .365.

For more on the Twins, check out Twinkie Town or stick with SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around MLB, head over to Baseball Nation.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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