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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Dragons Win, But Fall Short of Wild Card

Dragons Win, But Fall Short of Wild Card

EASTLAKE — The Dayton Dragons belted a season-high four home runs on the way to a 13-4 victory over the Lake County Captains on Monday afternoon, but saw their playoff hopes come to an end on the final day of the 2014 season.
  The Dragons raced out to a commanding early lead over the Captains, only to see Fort Wayne score late and defeat Bowling Green to clinch the second half wildcard spot in the Midwest League’s East Division.  Fort Wayne swept their three-game series against Bowling Green to edge Dayton and Great Lakes for the final playoff position. 
  On Monday afternoon, the Dragons trailed Lake County 1-0 when Jamodrick McGruder blasted a three-run home run to left field in the third inning to give the Dragons the lead.  Jon Matthews followed McGruder’s home run with a tape-measure blast to left for his second homer of the year. The Dragons added two more runs in the same inning to build a 6-1 lead.  
  Dayton added two more runs in the fourth before Alex Blandino connected on a three-run home run in the sixth to build the lead to 11-1.  It was Blandino’s fourth homer of the year.  In the eighth, Phillip Ervin added a solo home run, his seventh of the season.
  The Dragons finished with 15 hits.  Ronald Bueno had three to lead the attack.  Bueno enjoyed a baseball rarity in the third inning when he collected two hits in the same inning, one batting left-handed and the other batting right-handed.  Blandino had two hits and four runs batted in.  Matthews, Ervin, and Robert Ramirez also had two hits for the Dragons.  
  Dragons starting pitcher Nick Howard (2-1) earned the win.  He worked five strong innings, allowing a home run to the first batter he faced, then giving up only one more hit over the rest of his day.  He walked one and struck out three, allowing just one run.  
  Monday’s game completed an unusual three-game series between the Dragons and the Captains.  Dayton won the first game on Saturday 11-1, collecting 16 hits; lost Sunday 12-0 as they picked up just three hits; and won 13-4 on Monday.
  The Dragons closed out the season with an overall record of 68-70.  They went 36-32 in the first half and 32-38 in the second half.  
  Notes:  Dragons starting pitcher Nick Travieso finished as the league leader in victories with 14.  Sal Romano led the league in innings pitched with 148.2.  Alejandro Chacin finished second in saves with 20.  Amir Garrett led the league in shutouts with two.  The Dragons finished with a team batting average of .244 and a team earned run average of 3.63.Dragons Win, But Fall Short of Wild Card

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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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