LOS ANGELES -- Russell Martin has teased people into believing that he was on the verge of an offensive breakthrough a couple of times this season.
And just as it seemed he was about to turn the corner, he slipped back into the same funk that's plagued him all year.
This time, however, there's reason to believe Martin's successful weekend at San Francisco is a sign of things to come rather than a mere mirage.
"What he's doing at the plate is a lot more consistent than at any time this year," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said before Monday's game against the Pirates.
"He's pretty much stayed with what has worked for him."
What's worked for Martin is a patient approach at the plate.
He's been able to work counts, and he hasn't started each at-bat dead set on finding pitches to pull.
And that mind-set has -- odd as it seems -- helped him position himself to pull the ball and hit for power.
"[Martin's] trying not to pull everything -- and yet he's getting pitches to pull," Torre said. "The only reason that's happening is because he's been able to lay off certain pitches that have showed the pitcher that 'I can't pitch him any one way.'"
Torre cited the double that Martin hit on Friday and one of his two home runs against the Giants as examples of Martin allowing himself to get a pitch to pull by being selective at the plate.
In all, Martin went 4-for-11 with seven RBIs in three games against the Giants.
The seven RBIs are the most Martin's had in a three-game period this season.
"That whole series was terrific as far as where he needs to be," Torre said. "And I think he's excited about it."
David Ely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.