Player of Month Miggy got hot at perfect time

Slugger fueled Detroit's run to playoffs, hitting .379 after uneven August

Player of Month Miggy got hot at perfect time

DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera's September surge not only helped earn the Tigers their fourth straight American League Central title, it earned AL Player of the Month honors for the two-time reigning AL MVP Award winner.

It's the fourth monthly award in Cabrera's career and the second in a row for the Tigers. Victor Martinez won AL Player of the Month honors for August.

After Cabrera hit .252 with one home run in August, questions lingered about how much the bone spur in his right ankle was limiting his ability to power through the ball at the plate. He didn't need long in September to answer them.

Starting with a two-homer, four-hit performance on Labor Day in Cleveland, Cabrera took out a summer's worth of frustration on opponents who had the misfortune of finding the Tigers on their late-season schedule. He homered three times with six RBIs in a two-day stretch later that week against the Giants, homered in a go-ahead ninth inning Sept. 15 at Minnesota, had a four-hit game against the Twins two nights later, hit a walk-off single Sept. 23 to beat the White Sox and then homered in back-to-back games in the final series of the season.

"Miggy certainly got hot this last month," manager Brad Ausmus said, "and it's well timed."

Cabrera hit .379 (39-for-103) for the month, with 10 doubles, eight homers, 18 RBIs and 19 runs scored in 26 games.

"Numbers speak for themselves," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said earlier in the month. "You just hope you don't make mistakes to him."

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