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HR streak halted, but Stanton eyes 62

Marlins slugger hopes to pass benchmarks set by Ruth, Maris
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- His pursuit to homer in seven straight games ended on Wednesday afternoon, but Giancarlo Stanton ultimately has a bigger number in his sights -- 62.

After collecting a pair of singles in four at-bats in the Marlins' 8-1 win over the Giants at Marlins Park, the hottest power hitter in the game made it clear he would like to pass benchmarks previously set by Babe Ruth and Roger Maris.

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MIAMI -- His pursuit to homer in seven straight games ended on Wednesday afternoon, but Giancarlo Stanton ultimately has a bigger number in his sights -- 62.

After collecting a pair of singles in four at-bats in the Marlins' 8-1 win over the Giants at Marlins Park, the hottest power hitter in the game made it clear he would like to pass benchmarks previously set by Babe Ruth and Roger Maris.

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Ruth belted 60 homers in 1927, and Maris topped it with 61 in 1961. Barry Bonds, of course, holds MLB's season mark with 73 in 2001.

"When you grow up watching all the old films of Babe Ruth and [Maris] and those guys, 61 has always been that printed number," Stanton said.

Video: SF@MIA: Stanton hits pair of singles, HR streak ends

In the midst of a historical run -- 23 in 36 games -- Stanton has 44 home runs on the season. To reach 60, he must connect on 16 in the Marlins' final 43 games.

Manager Don Mattingly says the number is reachable.

"I think there are certain guys who are just 'that guy' every year, almost," Mattingly said. "I think Giancarlo has been 'that guy' for a while. It seemed like it was just a matter of him staying on the field long enough. He's had some years where he would have exploded and been in this range, too, if he would have been able to keep playing."

Video: SF@MIA: Mattingly talks about Stanton's hot streak

Barring anything unforeseen, Stanton may be able to reach 60 or 62. At least for this year, 73 is out of range.

Asked if he felt 73 was tainted in any way because it came during MLB's so-called "PED era," Stanton said: "Considering some things, I do. But at the same time, it doesn't matter. The record is the record. But personally, I think I do."

Stanton also added that Ruth's long-standing 60 also has its blemish because it came before 1947, the year baseball became the first integrated pro sport.

At age 27, Stanton has 252 career home runs. The four-time All-Star is making his mark wtih some impressive power numbers. His six games in a row with a homer were impressive. The MLB record is eight games, shared by Dale Long (Pirates) in May 1956, Ken Griffey Jr. (Mariners) in July 1993 and Mattingly (Yankees) in July 1987.

Stanton joked that he would have liked to have given his manager a hard time.

"It would have been cool to mess with him a little bit, if I could do that," Stanton said. "But I felt good. We won."

Three players had their streaks end at seven games -- Kevin Mench (Rangers) in April 2006, Jim Thome (Indians) in late June-early July 2002 and Bonds (Giants) April 2004.

"If I have good at-bats, it's a good day for me," Stanton said. "I ain't going to hit a homer 45 games straight."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton