Giancarlo Stanton ditched his protective face mask last night

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For the first time since returning from last year’s season-ending beaning Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton took the protective face mask off his helmet for an at-bat Tuesday night.

Stanton wore the face mask for his first four trips to the plate against the Braves, but then ditched it for his ninth-inning at-bat and explained afterward that he did so because a left-hander was on the mound. And he promptly smacked a double down the third base line.

Stanton had two previous plate appearances versus a lefty this season in which he wore the mask and it sounds like he’s still deciding whether or not to stick with it all season, telling Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald: “Honestly, it’s whatever I feel like doing.”

Stanton had a big game Tuesday, but the MVP runner-up is off to a modest start with a .231 batting average, zero homers, and a .719 OPS through seven games.