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Published: Monday, 10/1/2007

Tigers victors; Ordonez captures batting title


CHICAGO - Magglio Ordonez's long hair and jersey were drenched by champagne. The Detroit Tigers were celebrating, just as they did a year ago when they won the AL pennant.

This time, they were enjoying a personal milestone.

Ordonez seized the AL batting crown with style yesterday. He went 3-for-4 to raise his average to .363 as the Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 13-3 to end disappointing seasons for both.

"It means a lot. To tell you the truth, I don't know how I did it, but I did it," Ordonez said.

"I stayed focused and tried to get a hit in every at-bat," Ordonez said.

The Tigers finished 88-74. The White Sox went 72-90.

Ordonez easily beat out Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki, who finished at .351. Ordonez became the first Tigers' player to win the batting crown since Norm Cash batted .361 in 1961.

His teammates toasted him on a day when several other Tigers got to personal plateaus - Curtis Granderson finished at .302, Placido Polanco reached 200 hits and Carlos Guillen got 100 RBIs.

"Nobody got foolish. We're not celebrating the big prize," manager Jim Leyland said. "We're professionals and out of respect to a teammate who accomplished something extraordinary, we all wanted to pour a glass of champagne and toast Magglio. He earned it."

The Tigers scored seven runs in the seventh, capped by Mike Rabelo's first major league homer.

Carlos Guillen's two-run homer to right in the third was his 21st of the season and gave him 100 RBIs.

Chicago got three singles off Nate Robertson (9-13), the third one by Jermaine Dye, in the fourth to make it 3-1. Ordonez's RBI single put the Tigers up 4-1, but Chicago rookie Josh Fields hit his 23rd home run, cutting it to 4-3 in the fifth.

Detroit erupted in the seventh with Sean Casey delivering a run-scoring single and Marcus Thames a two-run double.

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