MLB

Major league batting average at 40-year low

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NEW YORK (AP)

The major league batting average dropped to .253 this season, its lowest level since hitters combined for a .244 average in 1972.

This year's average was down from a recent peak of .270 in 1996.

The big league earned run average of 3.86 was at its low point since a 3.74 ERA in 1992, STATS said Tuesday. And the average of 4.17 runs per team per game was the smallest since a 4.12 average, also in 1992.

The home run average of 0.96 per team per game was down from 1.02 last year but up from 0.94 in 2011. The average peaked at 1.17 in 2000, two years before Major League Baseball and its players agreed to start testing for performance-enhancing drugs.

Team strikeouts per game set a record at 7.55, breaking the mark of 7.49 set a year earlier. It was as low as 4.75 in 1981.

Walks dipped to 3.01 per game, its low since a 2.82 average in 1968 - the last season before the pitcher's mound was lowered from 15 inches to 10.

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