After getting to within two points of the lead Sunday, Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer conceded the AL batting title to Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera after going 0-for-3 with a walk in the Twins' 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays on Tuesday at Toronto.
"It's a little disappointing, yeah," Mauer said. "The last couple of weeks, I just approached it like I approached the first 20 or 30 (weeks) or whatever."
Mauer has had a tough final series, and his average stands at .320. Cabrera went 2-for-3 against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday and remains atop the American League in all three Triple Crown categories, hitting .331 with 44 homers and 139 RBI. Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout ranks second in the AL with a .324 average.
If Cabrera retains his leads for one more day, he would be the first major league player to win a Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
"He's definitely had a great year," Mauer said. "You don't want to say just the last couple of weeks; he's really had a great year. It's really impressive."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said after the game that it would be up to Mauer whether he plays in Wednesday's season finale. If Mauer does appear, he'll set a career high for games played with 147.
"There you go, I'm playing," he said with a laugh. "The whole year I've come to the ballpark and wanted to be in the lineup, and I don't see why I'd take the last game off. I'll come in, get in the lineup and finish strong."
Minnesota's Anthony Swarzak, in a spot start, gave up four runs over five innings.
"Swarzy was all right," Gardenhire said. "I think he just got a little bit tired."