Smoke signals

Smoke signals

• Due to the late game on Wednesday night -- Cleveland's 6-5 loss to the Royals ended at 2:18 a.m. ET -- Francona gave shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and first baseman Nick Swisher a break on Thursday. Cabrera, who recently returned from a right quad injury, was in the lineup as the designated hitter. Swisher, who has battled left shoulder soreness this season, was out of the starting lineup.

• Indians right-hander Zach McAllister, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right middle finger, said he felt fine during his mound workout on Tuesday and plans on throwing another bullpen session on Friday. McAllister has only thrown fastballs, changeups and cutters to this point. He is not sure when he will test out his breaking ball.

• Indians sinkerballer Justin Masterson has already reached 10 wins and 125 strikeouts this season. He joins Gaylord Perry (1972, 1974), Sam McDowell ('69, '70), Luis Tiant ('68) and Bob Feller ('40, '41, '46) as the only Indians pitchers to achieve those benchmarks prior to the All-Star break, dating back to at least 1916.

• The Indians still have three more series left before the All-Star break, but the team has already established franchise marks for offensive strikeouts (700) and pitching strikeouts (683) in a first half. The previous mark for a Tribe offense was 681 strikeouts (2008 and '09) and the previous mark for a pitching staff was 667 (2000).

• Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis went 1-for-4 with a single and a walk against the Royals on Thursday, extending his hitting streak to 15 games, in which he's hit .462 (24-for-52). He has also reached base via a hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in 35 consecutive games, hitting .376 (47-for-125) with six homers, 13 doubles, one triple, 24 walks and 30 RBI in that span..

Quote to note
"When you know you need to sleep, you can't. I was watching some political show and the remote was about four feet from me. It was like, 'Screw it, man. Too far.' So I learned some stuff about that guy [Edward] Snowden."
--Francona, on trying to sleep Wednesday night

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.