WASHINGTON -- While Giancarlo Stanton hit his 33rd home run of the season to leave him one blast shy of his single-season high, he said it was his stolen base -- his first since returning from knee surgery in July -- that made him happiest.
Stanton even joked that he would aim for the team lead in steals, which is currently held by Jose Reyes with 35.
"How many games do we have left?" said Stanton, who stole his sixth base of the season in Sunday's fifth inning.
Adding the stolen base threat to Stanton's arsenal of skills would make him even more dangerous than he is now, according to Ozzie Guillen, who would like to see the slugger put his legs to greater use than he has in the past.
"He did something for us today I want him to do (more), steal more bases," Guillen said. "When you can steal bases and they want to pitch around you, they have to think about it. You might steal second, too. I want the scouts to say, 'Be careful, because if you walk him, he can steal second base.' Especially in very close games, I want him to use that weapon in his favor."
Said Stanton: "Anytime you can steal, it gets in the pitcher's head a little bit. It changes games."
Gary Sheffield's club record 42 home runs, set in 1996, appears safe for this season. But Stanton needs only two more homers to register the second-high single-season total in Marlins history. He and Miguel Cabrera, who hit 34 in 2007, currently share that distinction.