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5 sports storylines to watch this week


1. Homestand comes to close: The Cincinnati Reds wrap up the homestand with a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs starting tonight. Eyes will be on left-handed pitcher Tony Cingrani as he makes his second start for the Reds, in place of injured ace Johnny Cueto on Tuesday. Cingrani beat Miami in his first start, striking out eight Marlins. After hosting Chicago, the Reds head off to Washington and St. Louis.

2. Dragons back at Fifth Third: After a brief three-game trip to Lansing, the Dayton Dragons play host to Peoria and Burlington in a six-game homestand starting Thursday. The Dragons rank 12th in the 16-team Midwest League with their 4.18 earned run average and are dead last in hitting with their .202 average entering Sunday’s game.

3. Feeling a draft: Will the Cleveland Browns take Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner or take draft another quarterback of the future with West Virginia’s Geno Smith? Will the Cincinnati Bengals go offense with ‘Bama running back Eddie Lacy or defense with Texas free safety Kenny Vaccaro? Those are a few of the names being projected when the NFL draft holds its first round Thursday. Cleveland holds the No. 6 pick overall and Cincinnati goes on the clock with No. 21. Rounds 2-3 are on Friday and 4-7 conclude the draft on Saturday.

4. Golden spikes: The area’s oldest high school track and field meet holds its 63rd event with the Edwin C. Moses/Dayton Relays at Welcome Stadium on Friday. Centerville’s boys have won the last three team titles. Wayne is the defending girls champion. Dunbar, Thurgood Marshall, Lebanon and Trotwood-Madison are among the teams ready to challenge as some of the state’s top talent goes head-to-head at Welcome.

5. Backstage pass: Kentucky Speedway gives racing fans a chance to go behind the scenes with Ford Fan Day on Saturday. Visitors can walk the track, tour the media center, garages, press box and campgrounds, have their photo taken in Victory Lane and even check out owner Bruton Smith’s suite. Ford Fan Day also features music, activities for all ages, giveaways and food. The INEX U.S. Legends International racing series will also be in action. Ford Fan Day runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free.


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