Mark McGwire

Stanton needs one last surge to match Maris' 61 homers

Giancarlo Stanton asked to sit out a game — not so much because he was tired of playing, but because he was tired of making outs.

Swinging a weary bat and stalled for a week at 54 homers, Stanton requested a day off Sunday and was held out of the Miami Marlins' starting lineup.

"I don't like doing that, but also you've got to be smart," he said. "It's just that time of the year."

The pause in his pursuit of 61 homers, or even more, seemed to help. On Monday, the Marlins slugger hit a three-run homer, an RBI single and a 118-mph lineout against the New York Mets.

With 55 homers, he needs six in the final 12 games to match Roger Maris'...

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