Smoke signals

• Indians manager Terry Francona chatted with Mike Aviles about the infielder's slow jog up the first-base line during Friday's rally-killing double play in the eighth inning. While it looked like a lack of hustle, Aviles revealed after the 6-4 loss that he was fighting a minor right toe issue. Francona was unaware of the injury at the time.

"He didn't say much to me during the game," Francona said. "I told him, 'I wish you would've told me, because I could've protected you a little bit.' He felt bad. He really felt bad. Mikey's a pretty solid guy, which we all know. That's why when you asked me last night, it's hard, because you want guys to always run balls out. I talked to him after the game."

• Francona handed deposed closer John Axford a higher-leverage situation on Friday, using the righty in the eighth inning with one out, two runners on base and Cleveland trailing by one run. The manager said he is trying to give Axford higher pressure situations with the eventual goal of returning him to the closer's job.

"We want him to impact our bullpen, for sure," Francona said. "That would be the goal. But, again, when we do it, we want to make sure he stays there. The way we're situated now, if he does come in and walk somebody, you can match up and we have a lot of guys to do it. So, it's been working pretty well."

• Indians hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo will be away from the team on Sunday to attend a graduation ceremony for his son in California. While Van Burkleo is away, Luis Ortiz, Cleveland's lower-level hitting instructor, will help assistant hitting coach Matt Quatraro with the duties.

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.