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5 things to watch for this week

Boys of summer: As most of baseball takes a few days off, Beavercreek’s Justin Masterson heads to his first All-Star game on Tuesday. Masterson represents the Cleveland Indians for the American League in the summer classic after going 10-7 with a 3.72 earned-run average and 137 strikeouts. On the National League side, the Cincinnati Reds send first baseman Joey Votto, second baseman Brandon Phillips and fireballing reliever Aroldis Chapman.

Just for kicks: England’s 2013 FA Cup champions are coming to Piqua. And they’re bringing the FA Cup with them. Wigan Athletic FC plays the Dayton Dutch Lions FC in an international friendly 7 p.m. Tuesday at Wertz Stadium on Ash Street. Wigan won the championship by beating Manchester City — the 2012 English Premier Champions — 1-0 in injury time for the Cup championship. The first 100 spectators will receive a free t-shirt.

Club time: Fifty-five hopefuls, including area golfers Michael Bernard, Pete Samborsky and Jeff Scohy, battle today for two qualifying spots to the U.S. Amateur championship. The historic Donald Ross 1919 design at Miami Valley Golf Course will put the golfers to the test with 36 holes in the sectional qualifier. Golfers tee off on both the No. 1 and No. 10 tees at 7:30 a.m. The U.S. Am is Aug. 12-18 in Brookline, Mass.

Second-half surge?: The third-place Cincinnati Reds can take a major step toward climbing back atop the National League Central when they open the second half of the season Friday. Cincinnati hosts the Pittsburgh Pirates for three games. Then its off to the West Coast with stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego for another key stretch that could play a key role for the remainder of the season.

Go West, young men: The West Side little leaguers from Hamilton open state tournament play 2 p.m. Sunday in Ashtabula, the next step toward again qualifying for the Little League World Series. West Side held off a challenge from Lebanon to win the District 9 title 11-4 on Saturday.

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