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Former Lee County star Posey closing in on NL batting title

Leesburg native Buster Posey is two games away from becoming the third catcher in modern baseball history to win the NL batting title.

Leesburg native Buster Posey is two games away from becoming the third catcher in modern baseball history to win the NL batting title.

SAN FRANCISCO — Leesburg native Buster Posey is closing in on yet another honor in his young professional baseball career.

Entering Monday night’s game against Los Angeles — which wasn’t over by The Herald’s press time — the Giants catcher held a .008 lead over Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen in the race for the National League batting title.

Posey (.337) and McCutchen (.329) end the regular season Wednesday, and if Posey holds on to the lead he will join Bubbles Hargrave (Cincinnati, 1926) and Ernie Lombardi (Cincinnati, 1938 and Boston, 1942) as the only catchers to win an NL batting title in baseball’s modern era.

Posey, 25, was asked by reporters over the weekend if he planned to rest the final regular season games to ensure the batting title.

“I’m just trying to focus on each day right now and play it by ear as we go,” Posey told MLB.com. “I don’t know, but that’s what your first instinct is — to play.”

Posey, who is also a leading candidate to win the NL MVP, could join Johnny Bench and Thurman Munson as the only catchers to win the Rookie of the Year Award, MVP and World Series title in their career.

Heading into Monday’s game, Posey had six hits in his last 15 at-bats, which helped his batting average surge past McCutchen’s. McCutchen took the batting average lead when Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera (.346) withdrew from the race last week, but McCutchen had just two hits in his last 20 at bats entering Monday’s game.

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