Surging Mauer making push for AL batting crown

Surging Mauer making push for AL batting crown

CLEVELAND -- Don't look now, but there's a familiar face creeping up the ranks to challenge for the American League battling title.

Joe Mauer collected three singles on Tuesday to boost his average to .325, which placed him third in the AL entering Wednesday, behind Detroit's Miguel Cabrera (.333) and Los Angeles rookie Mike Trout (.327). A three-time batting champ, Mauer has hit .486 (17-for-35) over his last 10 games, posting a .581 on-base percentage and 1.324 OPS during that stretch.

"He's swinging really good right now," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's going to take a lot of hits to catch up, because you have so many at-bats right now."

The five-time All-Star totes a career average of .324. Mauer last won the batting crown in 2009, when he hit .365 and earned the AL Most Valuable Player Award.

"If anybody can do it, Joe Mauer can do it," Gardenhire said. "I've watched him long enough to know that when this guy is swinging good, he can really run it up there."