Stanton starting to heat up at the plate

Stanton starting to heat up at the plate

SAN FRANCISCO -- Maybe May is the month where Giancarlo Stanton starts to heat up. It has happened in the past, and he had a good game on Tuesday night.

Stanton lined a home run just over the wall down the left-field line off of Matt Cain on Tuesday that proved to be the decisive run in the Marlins' 2-1 win over the Giants at AT&T Park.

It was his second homer of the season and came on May 1.

The 22-year-old slugger certainly had his share of loud outs in April. A number of long drives he hit, especially to center field at spacious Marlins Park, turned into 400-foot outs. He also didn't have much luck going to left field.

One of the strongest players in the game, Stanton has done his best not to stress about a low home run total.

"You're going to go further backwards, if you start doing that," Stanton said.

Looking forward, Stanton has a track record of producing in the second month of the season. In 2011, he belted nine home runs and drove in 20 runs in May. It was his most productive power month in a year he finished with 34 homers.

In a number of ways, Stanton's 2012 has mirrored 2011.

In both years, the slugger missed substantial time in Spring Training due to injury. He was hampered by a sore left knee this season.

Without much time to prepare, Stanton had two homers and nine RBIs while batting .235 last April. Those numbers are close to the one home run, nine RBIs and .247 average this April.

Stanton is focused on swinging at strikes and not chasing so many pitches. If he stays disciplined in his approach, the home runs should come naturally.

"If you start trying to hit homers on every at-bat, you're going to start pulling off and making it worse," Stanton said. "It's taking a while this year, but you've still got to stay up the middle and keep [aiming] for the gaps, and they will come. Stressing about it, you're going to go backwards."