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Smoke signals

• In the fifth inning of Cleveland's 6-4 loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday, Angels manager Mike Scioscia challenged the final out call on a double play that ended the frame. The ruling was overturned, the Angels had new life and the Indians went on to give up two runs in the inning.

It was Indians manager Terry Francona's son, Nick, who gave Scioscia the go-ahead to challenge the play. Nick Francona, who is the Angels' coordinator of Major League player information, also serves as the team's instant-replay coordinator during games.

"I thought that was kind of weak on his part," Terry Francona deadpanned. "He may work for Scioscia, but he's my son."

Francona's son was hired by the Angels this past offseason. In 2011, Nick Francona served his country overseas, commanding a Marine brigade's scout-sniper unit.

"I'm really proud of him," said the elder Francona. "It's actually kind of a comforting feeling knowing you have your son 50 yards away. I'm not sure where he is, but I'll tell you what, it beats the [heck] out of him being in Afghanistan. I have thought about that."

Michael Brantley was out of the lineup on Wednesday, but it was just a scheduled day off for the outfielder, who had started in each of the Indians' first 27 games. Francona said he did not consider changing the plan for Brantley, even though Jason Kipnis (right side) was forced out of the lineup due to injury.

"That would've been a mistake," Francona said. "If a guy needs a day off, he needs a day off. That's where I think maybe if I was younger, I would've done that. I don't think it's right. I think then you start chasing your tail, and that's not good."

• Francona not only tracks pitches, innings and appearances for his pitchers, the manager also keeps track of the number of "stressful" innings for members of his staff. It is something Francona has always done throughout his managerial career.

"I just thought it made sense," Francona said. "I think you can mislead yourself very easily just by looking at who pitched and how much. You've got to look at how much they're up, how quickly you got them up, there's a lot of things that can lead into guys not being productive."

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