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AL batting race tightening between Joe Mauer, 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.

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