Smoke signals

• Francona admitted that it was tempting to leave Kluber in the game in the eighth inning on Friday, when the pitcher had two outs, a runner on first base and a 1-0 lead. Kluber was at a season-high 116 pitches, though, and he had also thrown nine warmup pitches during an instant-replay delay in the eighth, so Francona felt it best to turn to the bullpen.

"'Tempting' is the right word," Francona said. "But I think it's wrong. I think you have to take into account a lot of things. I feel pretty strongly that, when you get up into that area and you've faced hitters three times and you've really got to dig deep through the middle of the order, [going to the bullpen] is probably the right thing to do."

• In two starts since being optioned back to Triple-A Columbus, starter Zach McAllister has allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits in 13 innings, in which he had eight strikeouts and five walks. Francona noted that McAllister has been sitting down with Clippers pitching coach Tony Arnold after each outing to closely evaluate his performance.

"He's doing a pretty good job," Francona said. "When you're facing Triple-A hitters, you're not always going to pay for mistakes like you might [in the Majors]. ... Regardless of the outcome of the pitch, you want to see if he's executing. He's watching it with Tony. I think it's really beneficial."

• Indians utility man Zach Walters has been fielding grounders at shortstop before games this weekend. Francona said the versatile infielder and corner outfielder will continue to work out at the position, but the manager noted that Walters (mostly a middle infielder in his pro career) currently fits the roster best as a left fielder.

• Columbus third baseman Giovanny Urshela went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs in the Clippers' 6-2 win over Toledo on Friday. Heading into Saturday's action, Urshela led Cleveland's Minor League system with 79 RBIs and was tied for third with 17 homers this year.

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.