Smoke signals

Smoke signals

• Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall headed into Monday's game against the Royals hitting .333 (10-for-30) with seven extra-base hits and six RBIs in his past 11 games. In his previous 21 contests, Chisenhall hit .127 (7-for-55) with two extra-base hits and three RBIs for the Tribe.

"I think he's taking better swings at fastballs," manager Terry Francona said. "Even on some that he's fouled off, because he fouled it off, he's got the right to hit another pitch. And he's hit it. He's done some damage with some of those pitches, which is very welcome."

• White Sox left-hander Chris Sale might be the favorite for the American League Cy Young Award if not for the Tribe. Sale's loss to the Indians on Sunday dropped his record to 0-4 with an 8.74 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in 22 2/3 innings against Cleveland this year. Against all other teams, Sale is 11-9 with a 2.37 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 178 2/3 innings.

• The Indians entered Monday with a 3.98 rotation ERA (sixth in the American League) and a 3.73 bullpen ERA (ninth in the AL) on the season. It represented the first time since April 7 (3.60/3.00) that the team's rotation and bullpen ERA were each under 4.00 overall.

• Cleveland's pitching staff boasted a 3.17 ERA (172 earned runs in 488 2/3 innings) over 54 games in since the All-Star break, entering Monday. That mark currently represents the lowest second-half ERA for an Indians team since 1972 (2.82).

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.