Smoke signals

• Outfielder Michael Brantley (mild concussion) continues to aim for a Saturday return to Cleveland's lineup. He took part in limited pregame activities on Thursday, including running, throwing and some work in the batting cages.

"If all goes well, which to this point it has, [Friday] will be full activity on the field, all except for the game," Francona said.

• Relief pitcher Vinnie Pestano has not allowed a run in any of his past 10 appearances with Triple-A Columbus, striking out nine, walking one and scattering four hits. Pestano was optioned to the Minors on April 9 after struggling to a 13.50 ERA in three games with the Indians.

"Sounds like he's doing pretty well. That's good to hear, we're pretty excited about that," Francona said. "Less ups and downs. He's been more consistent, and I think he's feeling pretty good about himself."

• Entering Thursday, the Cleveland lineup has hit .108 with runners in scoring position over the past six games.

Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.