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5 THINGS TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK


Play brrrr!: The forecast for the Cincinnati Reds is bright. The forecast for Opening Day … not so much. Reds starter Johnny Cueto will take the mound for the first pitch at 4:10 p.m. with temperatures hovering around 40 and a chance of rain mixing with snow. Cueto duels Los Angeles Angels hurler Jered Weaver — hopefully not with snow balls — in a matchup of two teams expected by many to win their respective divisions. Other highlights include the return of former Reds outfielder Josh Hamilton and, of course, the Findlay Market Street Parade at noon.

Masterson on the mound: The Cleveland Indians open the season north of the border Tuesday and give the ball to Beavercreek’s Justin Masterson. The ‘Creek grad went 12-10 with a 3.21 ERA last season, striking out 158 in a career-high 216 innings. In his final spring training outing Masterson held San Diego to one run in five innings while striking out seven.

The roar returns: The Dayton Dragons, the Reds’ single-A minor league team, start the season with seven straight games on the road. The season opens with a four-game series at West Michigan starting Thursday. From there it’s a three-game set at South Bend. Then it’s home to Fifth Third Field for the team’s 916th straight sellout on April 11th, an ongoing record for professional sports.

Lions, Buckeyes and Yellow Jackets: The Dayton Dutch Lions soccer team kicks off its season with a trio of preseason games. The Lions travel to Columbus to face Ohio State on Tuesday, visit Cedarville on Thursday and host Lincoln Memorial at Miami Valley School in Dayton on Sunday. Visit www.daytondutchlionsfc.com for the complete schedule and ticket info.

Let’s go racing, boys!: Kil-Kare Raceway near Xenia goes full throttle into the racing season with action on Friday and Saturday. The circle track hosts the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series on Friday with late models, modifieds, sports stocks and compacts trading paint. The dragway follows on Saturday with Super Pro, Pro, Sportsman, Pro Bike and high school divisions. Additional info can be found at www.kilkare.com.

- Compiled by Greg Billing


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