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Twins’ Luis Arraez, in quest for batting title, trying to stand between Aaron Judge and Triple Crown

Judge seemingly has two of the three categories all but wrapped up. With 59 so far, he entered Monday with a 22-home run lead over Houston’s Yordan Álvarez. He has 127 RBIs to Cleveland’s Jose Ramírez’s 113. And now he’s making a play for a batting title.

MLB: Game Two-Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees
Minnesota Twins designated hitter Luis Arraez takes a swing at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 7, 2022. As of Monday, Arraez was leading the league in hitting with a .317 average.
Wendell Cruz / USA Today Sports
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CLEVELAND — Amid a historic season that has him approaching the American League single-season home run record, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has emerged as a threat to win the first Triple Crown since Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

Doing so would put him in rarified air — Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig and Ty Cobb are among those who accomplished the feat.

But there’s someone in the Twins’ clubhouse currently standing in his way: Luis Arraez.

Judge seemingly has two of the three categories all but wrapped up. With 59 so far, he entered Monday with a 22-home run lead over Houston’s Yordan Álvarez. He has 127 RBIs to Cleveland’s Jose Ramírez’s 113.

And now he’s making a play for a batting title.


He has crept up lately on Arraez, who has spent most of the season with the highest batting average in the American League. After Monday’s play, Arraez is hitting .317 to Judge’s .316. Like Arraez, Boston’s Xander Bogaerts, who is hitting .316, poses a threat to Judge’s hopes, too.

MLB: New York Yankees at Milwaukee Brewers
New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge tosses his bat away after drawing a walk Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Judge is chasing baseball's Triple Crown — leading the American League in home runs, RBI and batting average.
Jeff Hanisch / USA Today Sports

“You don’t want to get in between Aaron Judge and probably anything in this world,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said of the Yankees’ 6-foot-7, 282-pound outfielder, “but I do think it’s a pretty wonderful visual when someone pastes it all together on the internet to have Luis Arraez standing in between him and the Triple Crown. That would be a pretty funny image if someone does it the right way.”

All joking aside, Arraez could be the only thing standing between Judge and history when the season is over.

While Arraez has seen his average slide a bit recently — he has hit .284 in the second half of this season — Judge has made a push, batting .374 since the all-star break. Though Bogaerts has passed him at times during the second half, Judge has never been so close to him in the race.

“Luis ultimately cares about winning,” Baldelli said. “That’s the most important thing to him more than anything else, but if there is a second thing, I think winning a battle title would be important to him. He takes a lot of pride in what he does and the work that he puts in. My money’s on Luis.”

Henriquez debuts

Amid a 11-4 loss to Cleveland on Monday, Twins rookie Ronny Henriquez was called upon for an extended outing after starting pitcher Sonny Gray was forced out of the game early with hamstring tightness.

Henriquez, who has both started and pitched in relief at Triple-A St. Paul this season, tossed four innings in his debut, giving up three runs on four hits. Those three runs came in the sixth inning on an Amed Rosario home run.

Minnesota finished with 12 hits, draw even with Chicago for second place in division
Minnesota also set to receive new jerseys, logos next season
Hot Mic with Dom Izzo from Wednesday, September 28th, 2022
The 10 strikeouts, all swinging, matched the most by a Twins pitcher this season. Sonny Gray has accomplished the feat twice.
Jeffers played in nine rehab games with the Triple-A Saints, where he hit 3 home runs.
Before Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox at Target Field, Correa ranked second on the team in batting average (.289), home runs (21), runs batted in (61) and walks (58), and first in OPS (8.34) and WAR (5.0). His defense, if not entirely peerless, is virtually peerless, and Correa’s 129 games played this season are fewer than only Luis Arraez (139) and Gio Urshela (136).
The 12-team league, which has been around for 15-plus years and has a rotating cast of participants each season, has provided players and staff members another competitive outlet as well as an opportunity to bond and a chance to take their minds briefly off the day-to-day grind of the baseball season.
Larnach, 25, played five rehab games for the Saints, the last coming on Sept. 21, before he was shut down. He was in the Twins’ clubhouse on Sunday morning, though not because an activation is near, manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Hamilton’s first hit — a solo home run to left-center — came near the end of a 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday afternoon at Target Field, a bright spot in a game with otherwise little excitement for the Twins.
Minnesota's last win came nearly a week ago

“Ronny came out there and competed very well,” Baldelli said. “His offspeed looked excellent. He can pitch with that slider and with that changeup very, very well, and he’s almost mixing in the 94- and the 95(-mph fastballs). But he’s got a good, fast arm. He showed some composure. I really liked what I saw.”



The Texas Rangers claimed pitcher Drew Strotman off waivers. Strotman was part of the return from the Tampa Bay Rays in the trade for designated hitter Nelson Cruz, along with starting pitcher Joe Ryan.


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