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Smoke signals

• Heading into Tuesday's game against the Reds, Indians catcher Yan Gomes was hitting at a .333 clip with six home runs, 20 RBIs and a 1.008 OPS in 27 games dating back to July 1. Gomes' 3.5 WAR this season (via ranked second among Major League catchers, trailing only Jonathan Lucroy (4.0) of the Brewers.

"He's been terrific," said Francona. "I think he's actually been pretty consistent all year. For a guy that doesn't walk a lot, a lot of times you see the batting average fluctuate -- especially with a catcher, just because of the wear and tear -- but I think he's been really consistent."

• Indians reliever John Axford entered Monday's win over the Reds in the eighth inning with the tying run on-deck, setting up a unique save situation for the former closer in Cleveland's eventual 7-1 rout. Axford worked the final 1 2/3 innings, collecting his 10th save, but first since May 3. The righty has turned in a 2.22 ERA in 31 games since being removed from the closer role.

"We've kind of come to the conclusion," Francona said, "that he's at his best when he's still pitching with adrenaline, like game-on-the-line-type situations, because he still has that feeling of the end of the game. He's been really good. His stuff is playing up and he has some wiggle room."

• On Tuesday, the Indians named Columbus right-hander Tyler Cloyd the organization's Minor League player of the week for the period of July 28-Aug. 3. Cloyd spun a no-hitter against Louisville on Wednesday, marking the first nine-inning no-no in the International League since Justin Germano achieved the feat on July 26, 2011, against Syracuse.

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