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Smoke signals

• After Thursday's series finale against Detroit, the Tribe has 47 games remaining on its schedule, 29 of which will come against teams with sub-.500 records. Cleveland has gone 34-14 against such clubs this season, while posting a 28-38 mark against teams above .500.

Cleveland (62-52) entered Thursday six games behind Detroit in the American League Central. The Tigers have won 12 of 15 meetings this season. In the AL Wild Card race, the Indians are 2 1/2 games out of a spot. Over the past 10 years, the fifth-best team in the league has averaged 90.3 wins.

"If we win more games than the Tigers," general manager Chris Antonetti said, "regardless of whether we beat the Tigers or we win all of our remaining games and don't beat the Tigers, it matters who has more wins at the end of the year, us or the Tigers."

• Though Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera belted an eighth-inning, go-ahead home run off Cleveland's Danny Salazar on Wednesday, last year's AL MVP didn't forget what happened in his first three at-bats.

"He struck me out the first three times," Cabrera said. "That kid is going to be special in the Major Leagues. He's got a great arm. His fastball touched 99, 100, with a very good slider, a very good split and a changeup. With that kind of stuff he's got, he's going to be very good in the big leagues."

• Pitcher Josh Tomlin will make his next rehab outing on Sunday. The plan is for him to throw three innings or 50 pitches, whichever happens first. In Wednesday's rehab appearance at Double-A Akron, Tomlin threw 29 pitches over two scoreless innings.

Tomlin is on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in August 2012.

• With righty Preston Guilmet recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Thursday after the Tribe designated infielder Mark Reynolds for assignment, the Indians have eight pitchers in their bullpen and will likely continue to for an extended period of time.

"Going into today, from where we sit, we think we're a better team with an eight-man bullpen," Francona said. "The best way to derail a season is to get your bullpen out of whack, so we won't do that. We'll see how it goes."

Mark Emery is an associate reporter for
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