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Martin seeks uplifting return to LA

LOS ANGELES -- It's tough to find a positive in not having a hit entering the fourth game of the season, but Russell Martin saw one potential bright spot in the 0-for-10 he dragged into Dodger Stadium on Friday night:

The chance, in obeying the law of averages, to claim his first hits of the season where the Pirates catcher said he "grew up, in a way."

"This place definitely has that sense of home. It's definitely cool to be back here," said Martin, who spent nine years in the Dodgers organization -- two of them as a National League All-Star catcher -- before he became a free agent following the 2010 season.

The Dodgers didn't re-sign him because they were set to replace him with Rod Barajas, but that's another story.

"It'd be absolutely nice to have a great series against the Dodgers, for sure," said Martin, mindful not of the past, but of his present .000 average. "Either way, it's going to be fun. We'll see how it goes, but I'll embrace whatever happens. It's my first time here since 2010."

It was Martin's first time in Dodger Stadium's visitors clubhouse. Before catching up with the other Bucs, he had stopped on the other side, giving his regards to the home clubhouse attendants who used to take care of him and exchanging hugs with his Double-A coach.

Onetime Dodgers catching standout Steve Yeager coached Martin at Jacksonville in 2005 and is still a catching instructor with the club.

"I'll be chatting up him and everyone else during batting practice, I'm sure," Martin said. "It's a feeling hard to explain. ... This was my home for quite a while. It's like passing through an old home."

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.
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