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Detroit – Miguel Cabrera sat in front of his locker late Tuesday night after his walk-off single gave the Tigers a 4-3 win, and spoke barely above a whisper.

He was asked if he was aware that the Royals had already won before his clutch at-bat in the bottom of the ninth.

"To be honest, we have to focus on what we're doing here; we don't have to focus on the Royals," he said. "Because either way, we have to take care of everything here. We can't worry about if they win or lose. If we are worrying about that, we lose focus.

"We can't lose focus."

Cabrera won't talk about his health, but the way he's swinging the bat tells the story. He is hitting .405 since the calendar flipped to September. He's scored 16 runs, hit six home runs and knocked in 21.

He also rapped his single-season best 51st double Tuesday night. He has 463 career doubles at age 31. The only player ever to hit more doubles through his age-31 season was Ducky Medwick.

"He's moving better on it," manager Brad Ausmus said of the bone spur in Cabrera's right ankle. "This thing comes and goes. But the last five or six days, with the exception of Sunday, he's been moving well compared to how he was moving in late August and early September."

There isn't much Cabrera can do in terms of therapy on the ankle, except step carefully.

"It gets aggravated by certain things," Ausmus said. "You might hit a base hard with your foot and it might aggravate it and cause inflammation around it and it gets more irritating. When the inflammation goes down, it's less irritating."

Cabrera will have to worry about another irritant Wednesday – White Sox left-hander Chris Sale. Cabrera has just six hits in 27 at-bats against him. Two of those hits were home runs, however.

"It's about playing together," Cabrera said. "It's not about one player. It's about nine guys and the pitchers playing together. That's what we've got to do."

Twitter@cmccosky

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