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Smoke signals

• Entering Friday's action, only four true left-handed hitters in the Majors boasted at least a .300 batting average to go along with at least 30 RBIs. Three of them -- Cleveland's Michael Brantley (.310/39) and Colorado's Charlie Blackmon (.314/33) and Justin Morneau (.312/33) -- will be featured during this series. Seattle's Robinson Cano (.327/31) is the fourth.

• Utility man Elliot Johnson, who was sent outright to Triple-A Columbus by the Indians on May 8, finished Thursday's game on the mound for the Clippers, recording two outs and allowing one hit in an 18-9 loss to Charlotte. Johnson also went 2-for-5 with three RBIs in the defeat as Columbus' first baseman. Johnson has hit .286 through 18 games since being sent to Triple-A.

• Outfield prospect Tyler Naquin, who was selected in the first round (15th overall) in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft by the Indians, churned out a season-high four hits for Double-A Akron in a 16-4 win over Bowie on Thursday. On the year, Naquin is hitting .296 with 10 stolen bases, 13 extra-base hits, 19 RBIs and 35 runs through 50 games.


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