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Stanton off to hot start driving in runs

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MIAMI -- At some point in his career, Giancarlo Stanton projects to be a home run champion.

For now, the slugger is making an early bid to be the RBI champ.

After driving in five runs on Tuesday night, the Marlins right fielder lifted his total to 21 RBIs on the season, tops in the Majors. Arizona's Mark Trumbo is second with 17.

"Like I've said, if you put guys on base in front of him, you make them pitch to him," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "That was something we talked about in Spring Training, getting guys on base, however they get on base. Let him have the ability to go up there and do what he does best, and that's swing.

"Obviously, he's driving in a lot of runs because he's got guys on base. That's good. He's had some good hits. He's had some great at-bats. He's hit some mistakes. That's good to see."

Stanton is closing in on the Marlins' record for most RBIs in March/April. Moises Alou holds that honor, driving in 30 in 1997.

Twice, Mike Lowell knocked in 24 runs in March/April -- 2000 and 2001.

In recent years, Stanton struggled in the first month or so. Last year, he drove in nine runs in April.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less

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