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Reds manager Dusty Baker remains hospitalized

Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker remains hospitalized Thursday. | David Kohl~AP

Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker remains hospitalized on Thursday. | David Kohl~AP

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Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker remained in a local hospital Thursday undergoing more tests related to an irregular heartbeat, but he expects to be released to fly to Cincinnati on Friday, said acting manager Chris Speier.

Speier said he talked to Baker Wednesday night and got an update from one of the manager’s friends Thursday morning.

``Everything sounded good,’’ Speier said.

Baker, 63, left Wrigley Field before batting practice Wednesday for chest x-rays in an effort to rule out pneumonia after he was examined by the Cubs’ team doctor.

The former Cubs manager has a history of irregular heartbeat, team officials said Wednesday night.

Baker is expected to rejoin the team Friday for the Reds’ series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Whether he resumes managing on Friday likely will be a matter of doctor’s orders, Speier said, adding ``knowing Dusty, he will.’’

``All our prayers go out, and hopefully everything’s good for Dusty,’’ Cubs manager Dale Sveum said, ``because he’s a great guy. And the rest of the year will be very important for him to be around to help his club.’’

The Reds have an 11-game lead in the National League Central and hope to clinch their second division title in three years during their upcoming home series.

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