Tigers’ Cabrera has magical numbers at age 30

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“It’s almost like he’s a mind-reader,” Leyland said. “I’ve seen them try to pound him inside, and all of a sudden, he’ll fly open and hit one in the left-field seats. I’ve seen them stay away from him, and he’ll stay on it, and hit one in the right-field seats.

“It’s uncanny the way he has the ability to kind of sense what’s coming.”

In the Tigers‘ 6-3 over Kansas City on Sunday, Cabrera joined Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx as the players since 1921 to have at least 40 homers and 120 RBIs while batting .350 or better through 116 games.

The Venezuelan is also part of another exclusive trio with Foxx and Albert Pujols as the only players in major league history with at least a .320 career batting average along with 350-plus homers at the age of 30 years and four months, STATS said.

Leyland said Cabrera is the best right-handed hitter he has ever seen, and Barry Bonds, whom he managed in Pittsburgh, is the top left-handed hitter. While Leyland compares Cabrera’s season to the excitement generated by George Brett’s chase for a .400 batting average and the since-stained pursuit of Roger Maris’ single-season homer record by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, the subject of the current story would rather sit out of the conversation.

“I’m here to play baseball and win games,” said Cabrera, who has led Detroit to an AL-best 73-51 record entering Monday’s games. “The other stuff, I don’t worry about.”


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