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Miguel Cabrera hits HR, increases batting average lead vs. Royals

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Miguel Cabrera is closer to earning the Triple Crown than any player since the last winner, Carl Yastrzemski, did it 45 years ago. He had a single and home through his first three at-bats Monday.

John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Miguel Cabrera's chances of earning baseball's first Triple Crown in 45 years took a positive turn during Monday against the Royals after a four-hit day.

In his second at-bat of the day, Cabrera connected for his 200th hit of the season, a single to right field off Bruce Chen. That's the first time in his career he hit the 200-hit mark.

His next hit was a bit louder, though. Cabrera homered to right field in the sixth, his 44th homer of the year. He now leads Josh Hamilton by one. Hamilton's game against Oakland is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. tonight.

Cabrera singled in both his fourth and fifth at-bats of the night, finishing the game with a .329 average.

Mike Trout is 2-for-2 in the Angels' game through three innings, increasing his average to .323. Joe Mauer went 1-for-5 for the Twins against Toronto, dropping his average to .322.

Cabrera has 137 RBI, a lead of 10 over Hamilton.