Joe Mauer on Tuesday went 0-for-3 with a walk as the Twins lost 4-3 to Toronto in the penultimate game of the season. His chances of a fourth American League batting title are very slim, but he had a reason to feel good.

Mauer has 637 plate appearances this season, establishing a career high. And he intends to play in the finale on Wednesday, which would give him a career high in games played in a season.

After taking heat for injuries in recent seasons, Mauer answered the bell for most of 2012.

"I'm proud of how many games I played and have been out there," he said. "It has been a battle, but it has been pretty good at that end."

Mauer's hitless day at the plate dropped his season average to .320. Meanwhile, Detroit's Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-3 and is batting .331.

Through Sunday's games, Mauer was batting .323 while Cabrera was at .325. But Cabrera has gone off since then and is closing in on the majors' first Triple Crown since 1967.

"The guy is swinging it," Mauer said. "He's definitely had a great year. It's pretty impressive."