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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Whitecaps Shutout Dragons 5-0

Whitecaps Shutout Dragons 5-0

GRAND RAPIDS — West Michigan starting pitcher Jon Maciel struck out 10 batters over seven shutout innings as the Whitecaps defeated the Dayton Dragons 5-0 on Thursday night.  The game was the opener to a three-game series.
  The Dragons began the day with a one-game lead over Great Lakes and a two-game advantage over Bowling Green and Fort Wayne in the wildcard race.  Fort Wayne lost on Thursday to remain two games back of the Dragons.  At the time of this posting, Great Lakes led Bowling Green 1-0 in the eighth inning.  Great Lakes would move into a tie with the Dragons if they hold on to win.
  Maciel (6-6) did not allow a runner past first base, allowing just one hit and one walk to earn the win.  The only hit against Maciel was a first inning single by Dayton’s Alex Blandino.
  West  Michigan broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning on an unusual play.  With the bases loaded and one out, Wynton Bernard popped out foul to Dayton first baseman Robert Ramirez, but West Michigan’s Domingo Leyba tagged at third scored on the play as Dayton catcher Chad Tromp could not cleanly handle the throw to the plate by Ramirez to apply the tag on Leyba.
  In the sixth, West Michigan’s Ross Kivett delivered a two-run single to make it 3-0, and Javier Betancourt drilled a two-run home run in the seventh to make it 5-0 and close out the scoring.
  The Dragons had only one legitimate chance to score.  In the eighth inning, Ronald Bueno and Nick Benedetto each had two-out singles, and Jamodrick McGruder walked to load the bases.  But Blandino struck out swinging to end the threat.
  Dragons starting pitcher Jackson Stephens (2-5) suffered the loss.  He pitched shutout baseball over the first four innings, allowing just one hit, before giving up the run in the fifth.  He left the game with two men on base in the sixth and was eventually charged with both runs.  For the night, Stephens allowed three hits and three runs with two walks and three strikeouts in five innings.
  The Dragons (28-31) battle the Whitecaps (37-22) again on Friday night at 7:10 p.m. in game two of game of the three-game series.  Reds 2014 #1 draft pick Nick Howard (1-1, 5.30) will start for the Dragons against West Michigan’s Kevin Ziomek (10-6, 2.27).  
  The next home game is Sunday, August 24 vs. Great Lakes at Fifth Third Field.  The game will have a special start time of 4:00 p.m.Whitecaps Shutout Dragons 5-0

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BREWERS-REDS

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Johnny Cueto pitched seven solid innings, and the Cincinnati Reds stayed in the chase for the NL's top record by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Tuesday night after learning they'll be without their manager for the rest of the week.

The Brewers dropped back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month, and it came at a bad time. They started the day 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild card spot.

They got no break from the Reds, who clinched the NL Central title on Saturday night.

Manager Dusty Baker met players before the game and revealed he suffered a mini-stroke in addition to being treated for an irregular heartbeat last week. The 63-year-old manager hopes to return to the dugout next week.

REDS-BAKER

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Dusty Baker won't manage the Cincinnati Reds until the final series in St. Louis, giving him time to recover from an irregular heartbeat that left him hospitalized last week.

Baker met with owner Bob Castellini and his team on Tuesday before a game against the Brewers. Bench coach Chris Speier said he'll manage the final three home games against Milwaukee and three in Pittsburgh over the weekend, with Baker taking over for the last three games next week.

The 63-year-old manager was hospitalized in Chicago last Wednesday for an irregular heartbeat, a problem he's had for a while. He was in the hospital for four days, missing the Reds' 6-0 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night that clinched the NL Central title.

INDIANS-WHITE SOX

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox have lost sole possession of first place in the AL Central race, with the Indians playing spoiler. Gordon Beckham hit into a game-ending forceout with the potential tying run on second base yesterday as the Indians downed the White Sox 4-3.

Down 4-0 in the fourth inning, the White Sox closed within a run when Paul Konerko homered off Chris Perez leading off the ninth. Perez walked a pair of batters with two outs, and Beckham grounded to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw to second baseman Jason Kipnis for the force.

Chicago (82-72) had held sole possession of the division lead since September 3. Detroit pulled into a tie for the division lead with its win over Kansas City last night.

T25-OHIO ST-MATCHING UP

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Through four games and four victories, Ohio State's defense has faced a continual drumbeat of short passes, quick routes, screens and sweeps.

Every opponent, it seems, has relied on a sleight of hand.

Now the Buckeyes are looking forward to getting into familiar territory when they open Big Ten play.

When No. 14 Ohio State travels to 20th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes anticipate they'll run into a more conventional Midwestern attack. Granted, that means having to counteract the 244-pound blasts of the Spartans' massive Le'Veon Bell.

But after a month of chasing people, the Buckeyes think they might benefit from a change of pace from the subterfuge and rush-avoiding quick-hitters in a trade for raw man-on-man power struggles at the line of scrimmage.

T25-UPTIGHT SPARTANS

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State's lackluster win last weekend got to coach Mark Dantonio.

After the Spartans beat Eastern Michigan 23-7 Saturday, Dantonio hurried through a terse news conference full of abrupt answers. The Michigan State coach said "next question" seven times in under a minute and was clearly annoyed with the way his team played.

On Tuesday, Dantonio spoke with reporters for around a half-hour, but Michigan State isn't making any players or assistants available this week. The Spartans' coach is trying to send a clear message to his players that it's time to get serious.

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