By Ashley Dunkak
The Detroit Tigers are 17-5 in the second half, and two of them have been named American League Players of the Week: Miguel Cabrera and Austin Jackson.
Cabrera, still dealing with a lingering abdominal injury that does not affect his swing but makes some running and lunging difficult, got the best this week of both his physical ailment and the New York Yankees’ Mariano Rivera, the 13-time All-Star who is often heralded as the best closer of all time.
Cabrera is hitting .365 with 36 home runs and 110 RBI through 108 games this season, but over the past seven games he has been even better than usual.
This week he batted .429. He has belted home runs in four of the last five games and collected 11 RBIs over the team’s last seven outings.
Two of Cabrera’s homers this past week came in back-to-back at bats against Rivera – one on Friday and one on Sunday. Cabrera blasted homers in each game of the three-game weekend series.
Another Triple Crown might be out of the question because of the competition from the Baltimore Orioles’ Chris Davis for home runs and RBIs, but Cabrera’s batting average is 65 points higher, and his power does not seem to have diminished, so there is still a chance – albeit a remote one – that Cabrera could be the first player ever to win the Triple Crown in consecutive seasons.
Jackson, Detroit’s center fielder and leadoff man, has hit .371 with a plethora of extra-base hits – four doubles, two triples and two home runs over the last week.