Smoke signals

Smoke signals

• Indians right-hander Zach McAllister (on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right middle finger) tested out his breaking ball -- the pitch that poses the most problems with his ailing finger -- during a flat-ground throwing session Saturday. McAllister felt "nothing that concerned" him and he plans on mixing the pitch in during his scheduled simulated game Monday.

• Indians players called a brief team meeting immediately after Saturday's 9-4 loss to the Tigers. The message in short was that Cleveland has not played its brand of baseball and needs to get its act together and put the pressure on its opponent. The game marked the division-leading Tigers' seventh straight win against the Tribe.

• Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis went 0-for-4 on Saturday, ending his hitting streak at 16 games and his on-base streak at 36 games. The first-time All-Star is only the fourth Indians player since at least 1916 with at least 19 stolen bases, 35 extra-base hits and 50 RBIs in the first half, joining Grady Sizemore (2008), Roberto Alomar (1999) and Joe Carter ('87).

• Sunday marked the fifth anniversary of the trade that sent CC Sabathia to the Brewers and brought first baseman Matt LaPorta, pitchers Rob Bryson and Zach Jackson, and a player to be named later to the Indians. The last player in that trade wound up being outfielder Michael Brantley, who is Cleveland's starter in left field.

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