Twins’ Luis Arraez surpasses Aaron Judge as AL batting champion

CHICAGO — Luis Arraez won the AL batting title, hit a third inning double on two walks to end the season at .316, and the Minnesota Twins rolled to a 10-1 win over the Chicago White on Wednesday sox.

As the day began, Arraez was pretty sure he would beat the Yankees’ Aaron Judge for the batting crown. He cleared any doubt by running in his first two at bats, then hit a drive that barely cleared the glove of rightfielder Gavin Sheets before being lifted for a pinch-runner.

“It’s great,” Arraez said. “This was one of my goals. I’m living a dream now. This is great for me because I’ve worked hard for this.”

Judge, who served out the Yankees season finale, batted .311 with an AL-record 62 home runs and a leading 131 RBI’s.

“I couldn’t sleep last night, I was just thinking about it,” Arraez said.

Arraez, 25, became the fifth Twin to win a batting title, along with Rod Carew (seven), Tony Oliva and Joe Mauer (three each) and Kirby Puckett (one).

“I think he accomplished what he hoped to do,” said Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli. “And he’s not someone who normally thinks about things that way on a personal level. He’s a team player and he’s here to win and fight.”

Arraez was given a hug at the top of the stairs of the dugout from Carlos Correa, who planned to give him a Louis Vuitton roller bag before the match in recognition of his achievement.

“[Correa] is great,” said Arraez. “He is an example for us. He’s a leader and I love that man very much.”

Arraez batted .361 (13-for-36) in a nine-game streak to finish the season.

“It wasn’t easy,” Arraez said. “But my mind is strong.”

Gary Sanchez and Jermaine Palacios homered in a six-run first inning for Minnesota that caused a four-game slip. The Twins finished at 78-84, a six-game improvement from 2021.

The White Sox (81-81), last year’s AL Central champions, had broken their three-game winning streak, finishing 12 games worse than their 2021 record.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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