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Smoke signals

• The past two losses in Boston continued a rough stretch of late for the Indians' typically solid bullpen. Entering Monday, Cleveland's relief corps ranked 29th in the Majors with a 7.67 ERA (25 earned runs in 29 1/3 innings) in the past nine games, dating back to May 18. The six home runs surrendered by Tribe relievers in that time period marked the most in the Majors.

"The last two games were kind of gut-wrenching," Francona said. "But our bullpen has been outstanding and will continue to be. I think we're in better shape than a lot of teams, even when we lose our closer. I've been on teams where you manipulate it to get to certain guys. There's not one guy out there we have to run away from. That's a nice feeling. We'll be all right."

• Indians starter Brett Myers, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 20 with a right elbow injury, has been shut down again after suffering a setback this week. Francona noted that Myers (following three Minor League rehab outings) is scheduled to have his throwing arm re-evaluated on Tuesday in Cleveland.

"His elbow got a little cranky," Francona said. "So he is not going to pitch. He's going to be examined [on Tuesday]. We'll have more information then."

• Monday's game in Cincinnati kicked off consecutive two-game Interleague series with Cleveland's I-71 rivals. The Indians headed into this set with a 42-39 edge on the Reds in the all-time series. Last season, the Indians and Reds played to a 3-3 split in the Showdown of Ohio.

• The Indians stole two bases in Sunday's loss to the Red Sox, giving the Tribe a Major League-leading 31 stolen bases since April 22. Cleveland's 36 thefts on the season were tied for the third-most in the American League, entering Monday.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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