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Smoke signals

• Right-hander Josh Tomlin worked five innings on 69 pitches for Columbus on Thursday, allowing a pair of runs -- both products of solo home runs -- while striking out five. Francona noted that the short outing was by design.

"Since we did send him down, we wanted to let him not get out there where he's getting taxed a lot," Francona said, "for all of the obvious reasons. He's coming off surgery, he's not the biggest guy in the world."

• Since being recalled from the Minors on July 8, lefty reliever Nick Hagadone has posted a 1.13 ERA and registered eight strikeouts to one walk across eight appearances. He also turned in a career-high 2 1/3 scoreless innings during Tuesday's loss to the Mariners.

"A lot in the past, I've just gotten locked in on throwing too many fastballs," Hagadone said Wednesday. "Being able to throw my breaking ball for strikes early in the count was really big last night, because then it helps with my fastball."

• Right-hander Shaun Marcum, who has spent nearly all of the season on the Columbus disabled list while recovering from shoulder surgery, began a rehab assignment with the Arizona League Indians on Friday.

Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for
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