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Smoke signals

• Heading into Tuesday's game against Kansas City, Indians center fielder Michael Bourn was batting just .143 (3-for-21) in five games since being activated from the 15-day disabled list, following a bout with a left hamstring injury. Indians manager Terry Francona said the slow start is not alarming, considering that Bourn missed roughly a month while hurt.

"He'll play his way into feeling good," Francona said. "The best way for us to get Bourny back to being Bourny is to play him."

• During the second inning of Monday's 4-3 win over the Royals, a squirrel ran across the infield at Progressive Field, forcing a momentary delay. The critter remained on the field for more than an inning before being led into the bullpen in center field. It was hardly the strangest on-field sighting of Francona's career.

"In winter ball, man. I remember it was Super Bowl Sunday in the Dominican," said Francona, who managed in the D.R. in 1996. "I'm standing on the dugout and I'm thinking to myself, 'What the [heck] am I doing here?' And I look out in the outfield and there's a dog, a goat and a chicken in the outfield."

• Entering Tuesday, Cleveland's bullpen had a 2.63 ERA and a .205 opponents' average, ranking third in the American League in both categories. The Tribe's relief corps had also stranded 89.3 percent (25-of-28) of inherited runners, which marked the second-best rate in the Majors behind the Red Sox (89.7 percent).

• On Tuesday, the Indians named Double-A Akron infielder Giovanny Urshela the organization's Minor League Player of the Week for April 14-20. During that span, Urshela hit .353 (6-for-17) with one home run, nine RBIs and a .950 OPS in five games for the RubberDucks.

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