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Smoke signals

• A win against Toronto in Thursday's series finale would give the Indians their first series win over the Blue Jays since taking six of 10 meetings in 2010. Entering Thursday's matchup, the Tribe is 3-2 against Toronto this season.

• The Indians will faced a Cy Young Award winner for the 12th time this season on Thursday with R.A. Dickey, last year's winner in the National League. In the first 11 such games, Cleveland went 7-4 and opposing starters came away with a combined 7.18 ERA.

• David M. Evans, who directed and cowrote "The Sandlot," threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Thursday at Progressive Field. Evans was on hand to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film that made heroes out of characters such as Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez, Scotty Smalls and Michael "Squints" Palledorous.

Quote to note

"Try to keep it as normal as possible, because it's not a normal day -- your first day in the Major Leagues. Try to, again, have him here tonight. Get the handshakes out of the way and all that, and let him watch the game a little bit. Just try to treat it as much of a normal day as you can." -- Francona, when asked Wednesday about helping a player on the cusp of his Major League debut, such as Salazar

Mark Emery is an associate reporter for
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