Miguel Cabrera 1st Triple Crown winner in 45 years

The Associated Press

It is more rare than a perfect game and about as uncommon as an unassisted triple play.

Miguel Cabrera won baseball’s first Triple Crown in 45 years Wednesday night, becoming only the third living player to achieve the feat.

Cabrera led the American League with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs, making him the 15th Triple Crown winner and the first since Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Cabrera said. “It was hard the last two days because everybody talked about it. I just had to focus, I had to go out there and do the job. The hardest part was to go out there and focus and win games. I said, ‘If we win the division, everything would take care of itself.’”

San Francisco’s Buster Posey became the first catcher to win the NL batting title since the Boston Braves’ Ernie Lombardi in 1942. Posey finished with a .336 average, nine points ahead of Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen.

After his positive drug test was overturned in an arbitration proceeding last winter, NL MVP Ryan Braun won his league’s home run title with 41. San Diego’s Chase Headley led in RBIs with 115, three ahead of Braun.

The Angels’ Mike Trout (49) and San Diego’s Everth Cabrera (44) won their first stolen-base titles.

Among pitchers, Gio Gonzalez led the major leagues in wins with a 21-8 record in his first season for the Washington Nationals. Angels ace Jered Weaver (20-4) and Tampa Bay lefty David Price (20-5) tied for the AL lead in victories.

Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers led the big leagues in ERA at 2.53, becoming the first pitcher to top the NL in consecutive seasons since Arizona’s Randy Johnson in 2001-02.

“I don’t care,” Kershaw said, disappointed his team failed to make the playoffs.

Price led the AL for the first time at 2.56.

Detroit’s Justin Verlander (239) led the majors in strikeouts for the second straight season and third time in four years, and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets led the NL in strikeouts with 230, one more than Kershaw.

On the negative end, the Pittsburgh Pirates extended their record for consecutive losing seasons to 20. Pittsburgh was 62-46 on Aug. 8 before fading to a 17-37 finish.