Catcher Miguel Montero's at-bats have been better the past few days. He's been working deep counts, driving the ball the other way -- the sort of things he does when he's swinging well.

But he says it's not a matter of being able to relax now that his contract situation is out of the way -- he signed a five-year, $60 million deal last month -- but instead might be a byproduct of the groin injury that cost him five games on the previous homestand.

"I think those couple of days that I was hurt maybe got me a little more fresh," Montero said.

It did something else: During his first game back in San Francisco, he said he jumped ahead in the count 2-0 and took one of his trademark big swings.

"My groin kind of pinched me a little bit," he said.