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Reds Give Dusty Baker 2-Year Contract Extension

Dusty Baker.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Dusty Baker. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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CINCINNATI (AP) — The Reds and manager Dusty Baker have agreed to a two-year contract extension.

The Reds said a formal announcement will be made Monday afternoon.

The 63-year-old manager led the team to its second National League Central Division title in three seasons this year. He has been with the Reds five seasons.

The team had a disappointing postseason, losing three home games last week to the San Francisco Giants to drop a division series they once led 2-0. But they overcame adversity during a regular season that included injuries to leading hitter Joey Votto and closer Ryan Madson, and Baker’s own late-season hospitalization for an irregular heartbeat and mini-stroke.

The longtime player also has managed the Giants and Chicago Cubs, winning a total five division titles.

The Reds won 97 games during the regular season and ran away with the National League Central division after Pittsburgh challenged most of the summer. But Cincinnati couldn’t get that elusive home playoff victory to move on, making it 17 years now since the Reds have won a postseason game in their own ballpark.

“It was disheartening to have my club go through this,” the 63-year-old manager said.

The Reds went through a lot, though, and handled all of it well until the final three home games. They became the first NL team to win the first two in a best-of-five division series and fail to move on.

The Reds have won 269 games under Baker in the last three seasons, their best such stretch in 30 years. Their two division titles in three years is the best such run since Sparky Anderson managed the Big Red Machine to World Series championships in 1975-76.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)