MIAMI -- When you're in a slump, you can feel like you're way off. But Marlins manager Don Mattingly said before Monday's 6-1 win over the Nationals at Marlins Park that he knew slugger Giancarlo Stanton was close to breaking out of his funk.
Mattingly said he believed that Stanton was just one swing away from coming out of a 4-for-26 (.154) slump over the previous seven games that included 11 strikeouts. He was right.
Stanton drove a 2-0 offering from Nationals starter Tanner Roark into the shrubbery beyond the right-center-field fence for a fifth-inning solo homer. He followed it up with an RBI single in the seventh inning, and the Marlins won at home for the first time in six games this season.
"It's our turf," Stanton said. "We usually play better here by default. But we got off to a bad start. It's good to get the first one."
Though Stanton said he felt close to breaking out of his slump, close doesn't get it done.
"When you stink, it is just this [close] in baseball," Stanton said. "It's not usually a big dire fix. In your head it might be, but it really is going to be 1-5 inches [off], which seems like a little bit. But when the game's this fast, it'll tear you apart."
But Stanton certainly hadn't lost his confidence over the past seven games.
"No, I knew it was close," he said. "But there's knowing it's close and finding out how to get past it. That's two different things."
He got past it on Monday.
"Now I've got to stay past it," Stanton said. "It was good. I felt good today. Good at-bats, and at the end of last game [when he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts], I felt good, too."
It was discussed that the home-run ball would not have cleared the fence had they not been moved in for the 2016 season. Those are things Stanton said he can't be bothered with.
"It's much better than a double, I can tell you that," Stanton said of his second homer at home this season and third on the year.
He went out and got a fastball on the outer part of the plate and drove it to the opposite field.
"You've got to be looking for the fastball," he said. "You just want a fastball over the plate."
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.