DETROIT -- On Friday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire praised Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera as the "best hitter in the league" and labeled him as the obvious choice for this year's American League Most Valuable Player Award.
Prior to Saturday's game, the skipper announced how he's going to pitch to Cabrera.
"I know people pay to come watch this guy. I come to watch him walk to first base," Gardenhire said.
In other words, the Twins are going to take the cautious approach -- although walking Cabrera to bring up Prince Fielder, who has 27 home runs and 101 RBIs, isn't exactly cautious.
The strategy didn't come into play as Cabrera strolled to the plate with the bases empty in the fourth on Saturday. Cabrera connected for his 42nd homer off Twins reliever Anthony Swarzak -- tying him for the AL lead in homers with the Rangers' Josh Hamilton.
Cabrera entered Saturday one home run away from leading all three Triple Crown categories. Gardenhire admits it would be a remarkable feat, but with how close the division races are he isn't giving the Tigers' slugger any assistance.
"I think everybody knows I have total respect for the guy and I think he's the best player in our league, but when it comes down to winning and there's other teams involved here, you have to do what's right for baseball," Gardenhire said. "I can't worry about people wanting to see a Triple Crown winner."