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Cabrera begins June on historic pace

BALTIMORE -- Miguel Cabrera's marvelous May ended Friday night with a two-run homer, a single and a walk. He entered June on a pace no one has seen in the big leagues, then picked it up again on Saturday.

At this point, however, he isn't focused on the numbers. His experience dealing with the attention of the Triple Crown chase last September has taught him how to handle it.

"I try to keep focused on what we want. I try to win games," Cabrera said after his grand slam in Saturday's 10-3 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards. "I don't get distracted about what people say. Go out there and play your game, try to play to win and that's it. Don't try to put extra pressure on yourself and don't try to do anything else [other than what] you can do."

Cabrera entered play Saturday leading the Majors with a .372 batting average and 61 RBIs, while ranking second to Baltimore's Chris Davis with 16 home runs. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Cabrera became the first player in Major League history to enter June batting at least .340 with 15 or more home runs and 60 or more RBIs.

His 60th and 61st RBIs Friday night kept him on pace with Hank Greenberg's team-record 1937 season, when he drove in 183 runs. Greenberg actually had a better pace through 53 games in 1935, plating 64 runs in that span.

One game into June, Cabrera is now ahead of Greenberg -- not just his 1937 pace, but his faster RBI pace from 1935. According to STATS, he has more RBIs through 54 games than any player in franchise history.

With Saturday's win, the Tigers are exactly one-third of the way through their regular-season schedule. Multiple Cabrera's numbers by three, and you can figure out the craziness of his pace. If he kept this up, he'd have 51 home runs and 195 RBIs. The latter wouldn't just break Greenberg's franchise record of 183, but Hack Wilson's Major League mark of 191 set with the 1930 Chicago Cubs.

Lou Gehrig holds the American League record with 184 for the 1931 New York Yankees.

Nobody since World War II has driven in more runs than Manny Ramirez, who plated 165 in 1999. Cabrera's just under 40 percent of the way toward that total.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.
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