Smoke signals

• Injured right-hander Justin Masterson (right knee inflammation) threw off the mound in another light bullpen session on Friday, working exclusively on his two-seam and four-seam fastballs. The team still expects the veteran to return after the All-Star break.

"When Masty's really good, he has a two-seamer, four-seamer and a breaking ball," Francona said. "We're trying to start at the beginning -- almost like Spring Training. We're trying to build up."

• Right-handed reliever Mark Lowe accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Columbus on Saturday, after being designated for assignment earlier in the week. Lowe has a 3.86 ERA in seven games with the Tribe this season.

• Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday's game at Progressive Field. Fellow Browns signal-caller Johnny Manziel had been scheduled to do so last month, but a rain delay cancelled all pregame events.

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