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Stanton credits Derby with restoring homer stroke

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MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton may not have won the Home Run Derby, but the event helped the Marlins slugger regain his power form.

Stanton had been in a home run slump before the All-Star break. The 24-year-old snapped a drought of 75 plate appearances without a blast Friday night in Miami's 9-1 loss to the Giants at Marlins Park.

On Saturday, Stanton connected again, boosting his National League-leading total to 23.

"Having to lock in for the Derby made me feel better," Stanton said. "I wasn't myself the last couple of weeks. The short time off and the Derby kind of helped me out. I think it will be all right."

At the Home Run Derby, which took place last Monday at Target Field in Minnesota, Stanton belted the longest homer of the night. It sailed into the upper deck in left field, estimated at 510 feet.

Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes won the Derby, with Stanton being eliminated in the semifinals.

Throughout his career, Stanton has had the knack of belting home runs in bunches. He's also demonstrating his pure power. Off Madison Bumgarner on Friday night, his blast was measured at 466 feet by ESPN's Home Run Tracker website. The drive off Sergio Romo on Saturday was estimated at 417 feet.

In terms of distance, Stanton stands alone in the Majors. Of his 23 homers, 19 have been measured at more than 400 feet. His average distance is 425.3 feet, tops in the Majors. San Francisco's Michael Morse is second at 420.5 feet.

Often, you hear about the Home Run Derby negatively impacting a player's swing. In Stanton's case, the event helped.

"I had to lock in," the slugger said. "I had to get my swing in the perfect groove."

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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