Smoke signals

Smoke signals

• Designated hitter Travis Hafner was out of the lineup against left-hander Zach Britton on Sunday. Indians manager Manny Acta said he is still trying to give Hafner an occasional off-day to rest his surgically repaired knee. Hafner came off the disabled list on July 4.

"The knee's taken into account," Acta said. "If you're gonna rest him, might as well do it against left-handed pitching. That way, you can balance things better."

• Acta isn't sure whether left-handed reliever JC Romero will pitch at the big-league level again this season. The Indians signed Romero to a Minor League contract on Saturday and sent him to Triple-A Columbus. Romero, who had a 10.13 ERA in 11 appearances with the Cardinals, hasn't pitched since May 12.

"We're not gonna be jumping the gun," Acta said. "I'm not going to sit here and say he's gonna help us over here. He needs to prove that he's still capable of pitching and getting left-handed hitters out. If we have to make the move, then we'll make it."

• Injured third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall (wrist), who is currently on the disabled list, was in the clubhouse on Sunday without a cast on his wrist. Chisenhall had surgery on June 30 and was expected to miss 10-12 weeks.

• Entering Sunday's game, the Indians bullpen had posted a 2.30 ERA since June 30, recording scoreless efforts in 10 of the last 18 games.