ATLANTA -- Each disappointing at-bat increased Giancarlo Stanton's level of frustration.
After seeing the slugger go hitless in three at-bats with two strikeouts in Friday's 5-0 loss at Atlanta, Marlins manager Mike Redmond decided a day off was in order.
So on Saturday night, Stanton was out of the starting lineup for the first time since the All-Star break. The 23-year-old slugger had been a fixture in all 21 games prior to getting a breather, amid his 3-for-17 road trip.
"I've tried to stick with him over the last couple of days," Redmond said. "It seems that he is really grinding. It didn't look like he was having a whole lot of fun out there. So, give him a day to kind of regroup. Sometimes just a day to sit and relax and not really think about your swing will help guys. Hopefully that's the case with him."
Overall, it's been a rough season for the right fielder, an All-Star in 2012 when he finished second in the National League in homers with 37. This year, Stanton is batting .241 with 13 home runs and 35 RBIs.
Justin Ruggiano made the start in right field on Saturday night.
Ruggiano also has had his struggles, as he entered the game in an 0-for-38 rut, the longest drought ever by a Marlins position player.
"I was thinking about that last night," Redmond said. "That's kind of where we're at. We need to get some hits out of him.
"Believe me, it's not a perfect situation. But at the same time, too, somebody has got to go out there and do something. Rugg is due. He's definitely due."
Stanton is the centerpiece of a rebuilt Marlins offense. Not producing has worn on him.
Actually, Redmond considered resting Stanton a few days ago in Pittsburgh. But Stanton showed some encouraging signs, which led to him remaining in the third spot in the batting order.
"I think he's frustrated," Redmond said. "I feel like he is trying to do too much. He understands how important he is to this lineup. But at the same time, too, he's one guy. He can't do everything. He can't carry the offense. I feel, sometimes he tries to do that. It's just not something he's capable of doing. He has to do his part."