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McGehee intent on giving quality at-bats

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ATLANTA -- Throughout his home-run drought, Casey McGehee stayed true to his hitting approach and maintained his sense of humor.

After blasting a two-run homer off Tim Lincecum in Miami's 3-2 win over the Giants on Sunday at Marlins Park, McGehee reminded that he entered the game with two stolen bases and one home run.

McGehee's shot to left at Marlins Park snapped a spell of 232 at-bats without a homer, the longest long-ball drought of his career.

All season, McGehee noted that he was focused on hitting the ball hard, and striving for productive at-bats. What he's been doing has worked. McGehee has 56 RBIs, and he's batting .322, while providing protection in the cleanup spot for Giancarlo Stanton.

"Obviously, for the sake of the back of a baseball card, it looks good to have some homers and stuff," McGehee said on Monday. "It really doesn't bother me."

McGehee is showing how production can come in ways other than simply home runs.

Still, to drive in as many runs with just two home runs is unusual. No other big leaguer with as few as two home runs this season has driven in 40 or more runs.

Hitting coach Frank Menechino has stayed on McGehee to keep a line-drive approach, while not trying to force home runs.

"Every day in the cage, Frank has reminded me," McGehee said. "He's been really, really good."

It's rare for players to drive in as many as 90 runs while hitting 10 or fewer homers. Tommy Herr in 1985 finished with eight homers and 110 RBIs. Paul Molitor in 1996 connected on nine homers with 113 RBIs, and Tony Gwynn hit nine homers and drove in 90 in 1995.

"There's a time and a place for the three-run homer," McGehee said. "Of course, you'd love to have them. There's also a time and a place to keep the line moving, and take what the pitcher gives you.

"There's nothing wrong with the home runs. I'll take them when they come. But it doesn't bother me."

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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