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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Dragons Fall, But Hold Wild Card Lead

Dragons Fall, But Hold Wild Card Lead

DAYTON — Jason Leblebijian belted a tie-breaking home run with one out in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Lansing Lugnuts to a 3-2 victory over the Dayton Dragons.  The Lugnuts battled back from a first inning 2-0 deficit to win the first game of the series.
  Despite the loss, the Dragons held onto a one-half game lead in the wildcard race as Great Lakes also lost.  However, the race became much tighter as Bowling Green won to pull to within one-half game of the Dragons, and Fort Wayne also won to get to within a full game of Dayton.  Lansing is only two games behind the Dragons, meaning the five teams in the race are separated by two games and the top four teams are separated by one game.
  The Dragons hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning to jump out to a 2-0 lead.  Alex Blandino hit his third home run of the year, and Robert Ramirez belted his fourth of the year.  But the Dragons could not pick up another base hit the rest of the night.
  Lansing scored one run in the second to pull to within one run at 2-1.  Then in the seventh, the Lugnuts took advantage of two big defensive mistakes by the Dragons to tie the game.  Dragons right fielder Jonathan Reynoso dropped a fly ball off the bat of Leblebijian with one out, and Leblebijian took second on the same play when Dragons relay man Ronald Bueno threw wildly into first base behind the runner.  Daniel Klein’s single to right moved Leblebijian to third, and Dickie Joe Thon’s sacrifice fly tied the game.
  The Dragons had a great chance to regain the lead in the eighth.  Chad Tromp led off the inning with a fly ball to right field that was dropped by Derrick Loveless, allowing Tromp to get to second.  But Bueno bunted back to the pitcher, who threw to third to get Tromp as Bueno reached first on the fielder’s choice.  After Jon Matthews walked to move Bueno to second, Blandino and Ramirez both struck out to end the threat.  The Dragons were retired in order in the bottom of the ninth.
  Dragons starting pitcher Nick Howard worked five innings, allowing five hits and one run with two walks and five strikeouts.  Reliever Zack Weiss (2-4) went the final four innings and was charged with a hard-luck loss.  He allowed just two hits and two runs (one earned) with no walks and six strikeouts.    
  The Dragons (30-35) host the Lugnuts (27-38) again on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in the second game of the series.  Amir Garrett (7-7, 3.58) will start for the Dragons against Brent Powers (4-6, 5.53).  Dragons Fall, But Hold Wild Card Lead

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Ohio Sports


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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