Smoke signals

Smoke signals

• Center fielder Michael Bourn and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall weren't in the starting lineup for Friday night's series opener against the Royals. Neither player is injured. Francona wanted to give Bourn a day off, though the manager sent him up as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.

After the Indians recorded four straight singles, Bourn lifted a double into right-center field, putting two runs on the board for Cleveland in a decisive three-run inning to beat the Royals, 3-0. Bourn, who took Ryan Raburn's spot in the lineup, stayed in the game on defense and Drew Stubbs moved from center field to right.

Francona opted to sit Chisenhall with left-hander Bruce Chen starting for Kansas City. In 33 at-bats against southpaws this season, Chisenhall has a .091/.118/.242 slash line with six RBIs and one home run.

"We have games we're trying to win, we have a young kid that we're trying to develop, and you try to balance it," Francona said.

• Over Cleveland's last five games entering Friday, the club's starters recorded a 2.05 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .185 batting average and two home runs. At Progressive Field, the rotation had posted a 3.79 ERA.

• By beating Blue Jays ace R.A. Dickey for the second time this season on Thursday, the Tribe is 8-4 against Cy Young Award winners this season. In those 12 games, the opposing starter is 4-8 with a 6.82 ERA. The Indians also have pinned losses on David Price, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Bartolo Colon, Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez.

Mark Emery is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.