Smoke signals

Smoke signals

• The struggles of Indians closer Chris Perez extend beyond his blown save in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 5-4 win over the White Sox. Entering Wednesday, the right-hander had a 5.95 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, .321 opponents' average and six home runs yielded in 19 2/3 innings over his past 20 outings, dating back to the start of August.

"The last month, I think he's thrown the ball actually pretty well," Francona said. "You watch how it's coming out of his hand. He's had a pretty good breaking ball. He's created some situations where [it's] like, bases loaded, nobody out. And to pitch out of it, that's there. Now, the consistency part hasn't necessarily been quite what we hoped for. So I think certainly we're hoping for more on that side of it."

Francona emphasized again that Cleveland has no plans of making a change at closer.

"You can't just be reactionary as a manager or you have turmoil in that clubhouse," Francona said. "There's times when you feel like you need to make changes, but if you react to one game or an inning, you can upset a lot of what's so good in there."

• The Indians are in the midst of one of the greatest one-year turnarounds in the franchise's long history (excluding strike-shortened seasons). Cleveland entered Wednesday with 19 more wins (87) than in 2012 (68), tying the third-largest jump in team history (also done from 1991-92, '53-54 and '28-29). The Indians enjoyed a 24-win spike from 1985 to '86, and a 20-win jump from 1915 to '16.

• Cleveland headed into Wednesday's action with a 16-2 record this season against the White Sox. The Indians entered the game with a franchise-record 13-game winning streak over Chicago, marking the longest win streak against one opponent for the Tribe since 1996-97 (13 over Detroit). The Indians have not won 14 in a row vs. one team since doing so against the Kansas City A's in 1960.

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.