Smoke signals

• Francona did his best to persuade veteran right-hander Tim Hudson to sign with Cleveland as a free-agent over the offseason. Hudson, who knows Francona from the manager's time as the A's bench coach in 2003, went on to sign a two-year contract worth $23 million with San Francisco.

"I did talk to him and told him that we were really interested," Francona said. "I've known him for a long time and I really respect him. I knew what it was going to come down to. You can do all the talking you want, but the contract's kind of what [it comes down to]. I called and told him that we were definitely interested. He's an easy guy to bet on."

• Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber spun his first career complete game Thursday, ending with a career-best 11 strikeouts, no walks and no earned runs. It marked the first complete game by an Indians pitcher with at least 11 strikeouts and no walks since Tom Candiotti turned the trick on Oct. 1, 1986. Not once during Kluber's outing did Francona warm up a reliever.

"He was doing great," Francona said. "He threw, out of 101 pitches, 75 strikes. And they were quality strikes. That's kind of how you draw it up. He threw in, he threw out, he cut it in, he cut it away, he sunk it, he threw a changeup and he threw a bunch of strikes. That's pretty much how you'd like to draw it up."

• Entering Friday's game, Indians utility man Johnson had not appeared in a game in two weeks, with his last action coming on April 11 in Chicago against the White Sox. Francona said it is sometimes tough to balance fielding the best lineup with making sure every player gets into games. The manager also knows it's not the easiest job for Johnson.

"I've thought about that," Francona said. "Sometimes, depending on how your team is configured, it's not the easiest role for him, but because he's there, you can use other guys differently. So it helps out team, even though he's not been getting at-bats. And I know it's hard, and I think about it all the time."

• The Giants handed out 40,000 bobbleheads Friday depicting Duane Kuiper in an Indians uniform. Kuiper, who is a broadcaster for San Francisco now, suited up for Cleveland from 1974-81 and hit his only career home run with the Tribe in '77.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for 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.