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Playoff race heating up for Dragons


There are two ways to look at the Midwest League standings as the playoff race heats up — the matematical way or the way Dayton Dragons catcher Joe Hudson looks at it.

“There is a technical way of looking at it,” Hudson said. “But, we simplified it and are just taking it one game at a time. That is the only thing we can do and the most important thing we can key on.”

The Dragons are fourth in the second half, but third in the playoff race. The top two teams in each division each half advance to the playoffs. South Bend, currently second in the division, clinched a spot in the first half and are not eligible in the second half. Great Lakes leads the division with Bowling Green in the second playoff spot. Dayton is two games behind the Hot Rods and 3 1/2 games behind Great Lakes with 17 games to play.

“We had a team meeting and sat down and discussed the importance of each game,” Hudson said. “We have a couple guys checking their phone for scores, but we can’t be too heavily invested in the other scores. We have to handle our business before anything else.”

Vincej looking to get back in the groove: Zach Vincej was in a groove.

The infielder was hitting .473 over a 17-game stretch before going on the disabled list with a strained oblique. Since his return, Vincej is hitting .162, but is hoping a solo home run Wednesday night is a good sign.

“There are so many things that go into hitting,” Vincej said. “My timing is all jacked up right now. It is a process to get back into the groove again. When you are going good, you feel like you are not doing a whole lot and you are doing a ton. Right now, I am not worrying about results, I am just trying to stay confident and the hits will come.”

Ervin still out

First round 2013 draft pick Phillip Ervin will remain out of the line up while rehabbing from a wrist injury.

Ervin injured the wrist on a swing Saturday. An MRI showed no tear, but irritation to the area.

“We are going to be smart about it,” Dragons manager Jose Nieves said of Ervin returning to the lineup. “He just needs time to rest it, but he is at least out a week.”

Ervin will be eased back in by going through some tee work, soft toss and batting practice before returning to action.

“It was just one of those things that happened on a swing,” Nieves said. “We hope he can be back to help us in the playoffs if we make them.”

Dragons on TV

Fans will be able to catch the Dragons on television tonight and Saturday.

Both games will begin at 7:05 with Tom Nichols providing the play-by-play and former Dragons manager Todd Benzinger doing the color commentary. The game can be seen on WHIO Digital 7.2, Time Warner basic cable 23 and digital channel 372.

Dayton wraps up their three game series with Great Lakes tonight before welcoming West Michigan in Saturday.


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