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Let race really begin

Fri., July 17, 2009

Catcher Joe Mauer and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who have won four of the last eight American League batting titles, are set to go head-to-head for another crown in what could be one of the best races of the second half. The Mariners’ Ichiro is batting .360 and has a 12-game hitting streak. But Mauer leads the league at .373 for the Minnesota Twins, who open a three-game series today at the Texas Rangers. Mauer, who missed the first month of the season with a back injury, became the first A.L. catcher to win a batting title when he hit .347 in 2006. He won another one last year at .328. Ichiro hit .350 to win as a rookie in 2001. In 2004, he hit .372 and set the single-season record for hits with 262.

– USA Today


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