Smoke signals

Smoke signals

• The Indians entered Monday ranked 27th in the Major Leagues in total and average attendance despite being in a postseason race. Monday's announced crowd of 9,794 represented the lowest September/October crowd in the history of Progressive Field, which opened its doors in 1994. It marked the second Cleveland crowd under 10,000 within the past six games.

"It was pretty energetic last night. It just wasn't a lot of people," Francona said on Tuesday. "But the people that were here were having a ball. To be honest with you, I can't do anything about it. I think every player that ever played the game would love to play in front of a sold-out stadium every night. That's not the case.

"You can either complain about it or you can do what you can do, which is play well. That will translate into more fans at some point."

Ubaldo Jimenez struck out 10 batters in Monday's outing against the Royals, giving him double-digit showings in three of his past four starts for the Tribe. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jimenez joined CC Sabathia (2008) and Chuck Finley (2000) as the only Cleveland pitchers in the past 35 seasons to have three 10-plus strikeouts games in a four-start stretch.

• Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco was away from the ballclub on Tuesday in order to attend to a personal matter. Francona indicated that the long reliever will likely rejoin the team in Chicago at some point during the club's upcoming four-game series, which begins Thursday.

• Ramirez went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and one run against the Royals on Monday in his first Major League start. The 20-year-old received the ball he hit for his first big league hit and said he plans on giving it to his mom, Xiomara, whose name it tattooed on his right forearm.

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.