Smoke signals

• Rookie outfielder Tyler Holt was caught stealing third base for the second out in the eighth inning of Cleveland's eventual 5-1 loss to Houston on Friday night. Francona said Saturday that it was not necessarily the wrong idea, but he felt Holt needed to have enough information to know he would reach safely.

"Because of the way the game ended," Francona said, "it was pretty sloppy, so I don't think you want to pull a young kid in your office and start yelling at him. To be honest with you, it wasn't a bad time to steal. I just want to make sure he has enough information, because you don't want it to be a 50-50 proposition."

• Right fielder David Murphy, who was placed on the 15-day DL on Aug. 10 due to a right oblique strain, took 40 swings without making contact on Saturday to test his side. Francona said Murphy was "really encouraged" and will continue to increase his effort level in the coming days.

• Through 38 games, outfield prospect Bradley Zimmer has hit .308 with three home runs, 15 extra-base hits, 24 RBIs, nine stolen bases, 17 walks and 26 runs scored for Class A Short Mahoning Valley. Zimmer was Cleveland's first-round pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

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.