- Associated Press - Saturday, September 22, 2012

CINCINNATI (AP) - Reds manager Dusty Baker stayed in a Chicago hospital on Saturday, getting another day of treatment for an irregular heartbeat while his team tried to clinch the NL Central title.

The 63-year-old manager was hospitalized Wednesday while the Reds were in Chicago because of the heart problem that he’s had for some time. He’s missed the last three games as Cincinnati closed in on its second division title in three years.

The Reds had hoped to have him back as they prepared for a division-clinching celebration, but doctors in Chicago were being cautious.

“The report is they want to give him one more day, make sure everything is fine before they release him,” said bench coach Chris Speier, who is running the team in Baker’s absence. “Probably a much-needed another day of rest away from (the media) and this whole situation. It’s stressful, as I’ve found out the last couple of days.

“They just want one more day. Probably give him the OK to come home tomorrow.”

The Reds were in position to clinch the title on Saturday with a win over Los Angeles at Great American Ball Park or a Cardinals loss to the Cubs in Chicago earlier in the day.

Speier made a few changes to the lineup for the Reds’ second game against the Dodgers, who are vying for the final NL wild card berth. He gave left fielder Ryan Ludwick another day to let a sore groin heal rather than put him back on the field. He also dropped shortstop Zack Cozart to eighth in the lineup.

Cozart missed 14 games with a strained muscle in his left side. He returned Friday night in a 3-1, 10-inning loss to the Dodgers, batted second and went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and two groundouts, prompting Speier to drop him lower in the order on Saturday.

“I said you know what? Let’s have him relax a little bit, take some of the pressure off and let him get back in the swing of things,” Speier said. “So we’ll see how that goes.”

Left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman has been cleared to pitch after being sidelined since Sept. 11 by a tired shoulder. Speier said he doesn’t want to use him to close a game his first time back on the mound.

“Just give him an inning’s worth of work and get him back on the (mound) and kind of see what we’ve got and not put undue pressure on him to do that after not being out there for a while,” Speier said.


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