Miggy officially back in the hunt for AL batting title

Miggy officially back in the hunt for AL batting title

TORONTO -- Miguel Cabrera officially rejoined the American League batting race during the Tigers' 15-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Saturday. In the process, he became one of the rare Major League hitters to take over the lead in the AL's batting race with an 0-for-4 performance.

On the same day Cabrera went hitless for just the second time in two weeks, his four plate appearances gave him 400 on the season in the Tigers' 129th game. That's an average of 3.1 plate appearances per game, the pace required to qualify among the leaders in batting average and other percentage-based statistics. He fell under the rate when he missed six weeks with a strained left calf.

Even with a hitless performance, Cabrera is batting .361 for the season. The next-best average in the Majors after Saturday's games belonged to Dee Gordon at .333. The next-best average in the AL belonged to Michael Brantley at .324.

Miggy's two-run homer

Barring a bad September, or another injury, he'll become the ninth player in Major League history to win four or more batting titles in a five-year span. He won three in a row from 2011-13 before his average dropped to .313 last season.

Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs each won four consecutive batting crowns -- Gwynn from 1994-97, Boggs from 1985-88. So did Honus Wagner (1906-09) and Nap Lajoie (1901-04). Ty Cobb's 11 batting titles included five in a row (1911-15), while Rogers Hornsby won six in a row (1920-25). Stan Musial won four of five from 1948-52, and Rod Carew won six of seven from 1972-78, including four consecutively.

Cobb, Boggs, Carew, Ted Williams and Harry Heilmann are the only players to win four AL batting crowns.

For his part, Cabrera said on Friday he's not concerned with a batting title at this point or any other individual honors. Still, in a season that has seen the Tigers fall to last place in the AL Central and nine games under .500, it will likely be the one title Tigers fans can savor.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.