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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.

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Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.