Smoke signals

• It was not a save situation, but Indians closer John Axford was happy to return to the mound in the ninth inning of Cleveland's win on Wednesday. Axford allowed a two-out hit and a walk, but the righty escaped unscathed. He had given up four runs with three walks in 1 1/3 innings in his previous two outings (one blown save and two losses).

"I felt good," Axford said. "Physically, I feel great. My arm has been feeling really good, even after the three [games in a row] and four of five. I'm just working on a small little thing that [pitching coach Mickey Callaway] and I noticed and it's been feeling better the last couple times out, for sure."

Callaway and Axord noticed a flaw in the pitcher's posture (affecting his breaking ball), and they have also been working on tweaking his arm slot (to reduce the run on his fastball). The closer felt improvement in both areas on Wednesday.

• Indians catcher Yan Gomes made a throwing error on Wednesday, giving Cleveland a Major League-high 34 errors in 34 games this season, entering Thursday. In the game against the Twins, though, there was a handful of highlight-reel defensive plays that directly contributed to Cleveland pulling off a win.

"That's been a big stress for us," Swisher said. "We want to make sure that we do play clean games. Our pitchers have done such a tremendous job for us the past couple weeks and we really haven't given them much. So we're taking a little more pride in that. We're getting back to where we feel comfortable on the diamond. I think it's all paying off."

• Aviles has provided two walk-off victories in his Major League career. He had the game-winning hit in Wednesday's 4-3 victory over the Twins and, coincidentally, his previous walk-off (a sacrifice fly) came with the Royals in a 4-3 win over the A's on May 7, 2011. Aviles plans on keeping May 7 open for another walk-off win in a future season.

"I've got to pencil this into my calendar," Aviles joked.

• Entering Thursday's game with the Twins, Cleveland's pitching staff had allowed only 23 home runs this season. That ranked second in the American League, trailing only Detroit (20), which was the third-best total in the Majors. Sixteen of the 23 homers have been solo shots.

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.