Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon had nothing but praise for Giancarlo Stanton after the slugger’s ninth-inning grand slam on Friday night left the Mariners walking off in defeat.

“He’s a force,” McClendon said. “His strike zone is getting better. He’s probably a much more patient hitter now than when he first came into the league. Knowledge is power, and he’s got knowledge. He knows the pitchers now. He knows how they’re going to try to work him.”

Marlins manager Mike Redmond was even more effusive about the red-hot Stanton, who entered Saturday leading the majors in RBI with 26 — seven more than the next player on the list — leading the National League in runs scored with 14 and tied with three others for the league lead in home runs with six.

“This guy has had an unbelievable month,” Redmond said. “Really, it started for him in spring training. He came in ready to go. You could just see a new focus, a new energy and drive out of him. I think that’s really carried over.”

Redmond said the most notable change from Stanton this season as compared to a year ago is his pitch selection.

“He’s more aggressive at pitches that he knows that he can handle,” Redmond said. “Pitches up in the zone, last year, maybe he took some of those pitches, whereas this year he seems to be right on them all the time. I think the key for him is to eliminate the balls down and away and in the dirt. Once he’s able to do that, then watch out.”

Redmond said Stanton is also making better adjustments within at-bats. Example: his ninth-inning at-bat Friday against Mariners reliever Yoervis Medina.