Sometime next season the Indians are going to take Danny Salazar out of the barn and let him run free. Right now the organization's show pony is allowed to merely paw the ground snort and rear back and shake his hooves at the heavens before having a blanket thrown over him and being led back to the barn.

When that day comes it should be something to see.

The Indians in the stretch drive to try and make the postseason let Salazar make his eighth start of the season Friday afternoon against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Salazar became the first Cleveland starter since 1916 according to baseball-reference.com to strike out nine batters in fewer than four innings as the Indians beat Chicago 3-1.

Salazar was not involved in the decision as the Indians improved 13-2 against the White Sox this season. The victory moved the Indians to within one game of Tampa Bay for the second wild card spot. The Rays played the Twins on Friday night.

"He's potentailly a top-of-the-rotation type of pitcher" said Francona. "He shows it now in smaller sample sizes. It will be bigger next year."

Salazar underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2010. He threw only 87 2/3 innings last year so the Indians have limited him to 75 to 80 pitches per start.