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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Dragons Close in on Wild Card Berth

Dragons Close in on Wild Card Berth

EASTLAKE — Dayton starting pitcher Nick Travieso allowed just one hit over six strong innings and the Dragons pounded out 16 hits as they defeated the Lake County Captains 11-1 on Saturday night.  The game was the first of a three-game series.
  The win provided a boost to the Dragons playoff chances.  They began the day one-half game behind the wildcard leader, Great Lakes, who lost to West Michigan 1-0, allowing the Dragons to move ahead of Great Lakes in the race with two games to play.  The Dragons also began the day tied with Lansing in the race (with Lansing holding the tie-breaker).  Lansing waited out a rain delay but as of this posting, Lansing trailed South Bend 5-1 in the eighth inning.  
  Travieso walked one and struck out five, allowing only a second inning double over his six innings.  Travieso’s win, his 14th of the year, clinches the Midwest League victory title for the Dayton starting pitcher.  His single-season victory total is tied the second highest total in franchise history, just one short of the club record.  Travieso extended his franchise-record career victory total to 21.  
  The Dragons scored two runs in the top of the first inning and added four more in the second to take an early 6-0 lead.  Alex Blandino drilled the first pitch of the game off the left field fence to get the Dragons started, and he later scored on Phillip Ervin’s run-scoring single.  Ervin eventually scored on Tanner Rahier’s sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.  In the second, Nick Bendetto hammered a double to left field to bring in Jose Ortiz from second with one out, and Ronald Bueno drove in Benedetto with a double to right.  Ervin followed with a line drive two-run home run to left to make it 6-0.  It was Ervin’s sixth homer of the year.  
  Lake County scored one run in the second before Travieso put together a string where he retired 12 consecutive batters.  Dayton’s Robert Ramirez belted a solo home run to lead off the seventh, and four batters later, Benedetto blasted a three-run home run to left to make it 10-1.  Jon Matthews collected his third hit of the night to drive in a run in the eighth and close out the scoring.
  The Dragons 16 hits represented their second highest total of the season, and the 11 runs marked their biggest night since they scored 13 runs on May 16.  Benedetto had a homer, double, and single while driving in four runs.  Ervin had two hits and drove in three.  Blandino, Bueno, Ramirez, and Ortiz each had two hits.  Ramirez has hit three home runs in his last four games.   The Dragons (31-37) battle the Captains (37-30) in the second game of the series on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.  Jackson Stephens (2-6, 4.10) will start for the Dragons against Lake County’s Luis Lugo (9-9, 5.16).    Dragons Close in on Wild Card Berth

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Ohio Sports

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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