Smoke signals

Smoke signals

• Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall was a late scratch from Saturday's lineup due to illness, according to the team. Utility man Mike Aviles got the starting nod in his place.

• Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who has been sidelined since Monday due to back spasms, was available off the bench for the Tribe on Saturday. Francona noted that Cabrera is on target to return to the starting lineup for Sunday's game against the Royals.

"Cabby feels pretty good," Francona said. "He actually was kind of politicking to play tonight, which is good. We certainly won't start him, but we'll see how he goes through [the pregame routine]."

• Designated hitter Nick Swisher entered Saturday with a .184 average and .468 OPS through nine games on the current road trip, including an 0-for-14 showing with seven strikeouts in the past three games. Prior to the current trip, Swisher hit at a .297 clip with an .856 OPS in his previous nine games.

"Some of that might be the pitching we've seen," Francona said. "Sometimes, you can feel good about yourself and still come up empty. That's the way this league is. What you have to do is remind yourself sometimes that you're OK and that we've faced pretty good pitching."

• Indians first baseman Carlos Santana had two home runs and one stolen base in Friday's 6-4 loss to the Royals. Santana is only the fourth Cleveland first baseman in at least the last 100 seasons to have a stolen base in a multi-homer game. The others include Jim Thome (Sept. 25, 2002), Joe Carter (Sept. 5, 1987) and Mickey Rocco (Sept. 2, 1944).

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.