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Smoke signals

• Francona felt Kipnis' at-bat during Cleveland's ninth-inning rally against Oakland in the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader was a perfect example of the second baseman's style of play. After being unable to get a bunt down, Kipnis reached base on a fielder's choice, stole second and then came around to score on a single by Brantley.

"He found a way to extend the at-bat, put the ball in play and then ran to first like his pants were on fire," Francona said. "That swayed the game in our favor. We all see what Kip can do -- banging a ball off the wall, stealing bases, hitting home runs -- but the contract, all it's going to do is allow Kip to enjoy playing the game. He's never going to back off on the gas pedal."

• Francona said he is thrilled to see young players such as Brantley, Gomes and Kipnis buy in to what the organization is doing by agreeing to long-term contracts. The manager said it is one thing for a player to say he wants to stay, but another thing for him to back it up with a multiyear deal.

"It's easy to say it," Francona said. "But when you put your money where your mouth is, I think that's great. I think we're trying to have a place here, a team here, where players enjoy playing the game right and, through that comes a lot of wins. With that, comes fans being proud of their team."

• Indians designated hitter Jason Giambi (on the 15-day disabled list with a broken rib in his right side) and Francona will sit down this weekend to discuss his rehab plan going forward. Cleveland is still weighing whether the 43-year-old veteran will require a Minor League rehab assignment.

• The Indians had a workout scheduled for Thursday's off-day, but Francona canceled it after the team's flight from Oakland ran into mechanical issues and a lengthy delay. The manager joked that he told players they would be "optioned out" if they showed up to the optional practice.

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