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Smoke signals

• Center fielder Michael Bourn was out of the lineup on Friday for the third consecutive game with a sprained right wrist. Francona indicated that Bourn might be cleared to return as early as Saturday if he has no issues following Friday's pregame workout.

"We want to see how he does," Francona said. "He came in feeling good. We'll see how his activity is, how he swings a bat. He could possibly play [on Saturday]."

Zach McAllister turned in 4 1/3 shutout innings in Thursday's 6-5 win over the Twins but was lifted after just 68 pitches after experiencing stiffness in his left side. Francona said that the injury is not considered serious, noting that he was simply taking a cautious approach.

"He was having trouble finishing his pitches," Francona said. "He was battling and battling, and he was stiff. You love it in a guy, that he wants to pitch so much, but you don't want him to lose a game because he's not able to get that extension. So I finally kind of pulled the plug."

• Outfielder Jason Kubel, who has hit just .167 in eight games since coming over in a trade with Arizona, entered Friday having not appeared in a game for Cleveland since Sept. 12. Though Kubel is not injured, Francona has kept him on the bench during the playoff chase.

"It's sort of a shame," Francona said. "You almost have to pick a guy or two at this time of year, because you can't spread the at-bats to everybody. You knew it was going to have to happen with the pitchers, too, but we didn't want to be short. That's just the way it goes."

• With 1 2/3 shutout innings in Thursday's 6-5 win over the Twins, Shaw improved to 5-0 with 15 1/3 shutout innings in September. He is only the second pitcher in team history to have five wins with no starts in a calendar month. Frank Funk also accomplished the feat in May 1961.

• After Thursday's win, left-hander Scott Kazmir spent an hour and a half trapped in an elevator at the team's hotel until a crew from the elevator company and the Minneapolis fire department were able to pry open the doors.

"I was trying not to panic," Kazmir said with a smirk. "I just sat down -- in the fetal position."

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