Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski said that being in a pennant race will help Detroit's Miguel Cabrera in his attempt to win the Triple Crown.
And Yaz should know: He's the last player to lead his league in batting average, homers and RBI in the same season.
"In '67, the Triple Crown was never even mentioned once," Yastrzemski said Wednesday night. "We were so involved in the pennant race, I didn't know I won the Triple Crown until the next day, when I read it in the paper."
Yastrzemski batted .326 with 44 homers and 121 RBI in 1967, when the Red Sox clinched the AL pennant on the last day of the season. Yaz said only once did someone bring up the stat races to him, when pitcher Jim Lonborg said he would help by shutting down Baltimore's Frank Robinson, who finished second with a .311 average.
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Cabrera entered Wednesday leading the AL with a .329 batting average and 133 RBI. He was one behind Josh Hamilton, who had 43 homers.
Helton promises return
Rockies Manager Jim Tracy is welcoming word that first baseman Todd Helton plans to play at least one more year. Helton had season-ending surgery on Aug. 10 to repair a torn labrum in his right hip.
Helton says he intends to play out the final year of his contract. He turned 39 last month.
The five-time All-Star is a lifetime .320 hitter, but he batted a career-low .238 in 69 games.
"If he feels physically that he's capable of doing it, then there's a big part of me that says he will be bound and determined to walk back out here and have another bounce-back season," Tracy said Wednesday.
Wright is Mets' hit king
David Wright has the most hits in Mets history. The slugger reached on an infield single in the third inning Wednesday against Pittsburgh for his 1,419th hit, snapping a tie with Ed Kranepool atop the team's career list. Wright accomplished the feat in 1,256 games from 2004-12. Kranepool played in 1,853 games from 1962-79.
The Yankees' C.C. Sabathia improved to 10-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his last 11 appearances against the Twins, including the 2009 and 2010 postseason.
■ The Yankees notched their 90th win for the 15th time in the last 17 seasons..
■ Before beating Kansas City 5-4 Wednesday, the Tigers had lost 11 straight one-run games since beating Toronto 3-2 on Aug. 23.
■ R.A. Dickey's start for the Mets was moved up to Thursday afternoon so he could pitch at home against Pittsburgh. He is 19-6 with a 2.66 ERA and 209 strikeouts in 220 innings. The last 20-game winner for the Mets was Frank Viola in 1990.
He said it
Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen said he had no problem with the Braves celebrating after clinching at least a wild-card spot Tuesday night. "Everybody should celebrate everything they do in life," Guillen said.