Eri Yoshida debuts in Golden Baseball League

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18-year-old Eri Yoshida became the first woman to pitch professionally in the United States in close to a decade on Saturday, throwing three innings for the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League.

Dubbed Japan’s “Knuckle Princess” because of her patented knuckleball, Yoshida pitched a scoreless first inning before allowing four runs over her final two frames.  She also had an RBI single.

Yoshida allowed five hits in all and issued one walk while topping out at 47 pitches.  According to the Associated Press, she learned to throw the knuckler at a young age by watching Tim Wakefield, who she met this spring and got some tips from.  How far the pitch will take her, of course, remains to be seen.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, prosecutors in Texas announced Friday.

Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court, according to Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Kay was communications director for the Angels.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games.

Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, a coroner’s report said. Prosecutors accused Kay of providing the fentanyl to Skaggs and others, who were not named.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wake-up call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” Nealy Cox said.

If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal court records do not list an attorney representing him, and an attorney who previously spoke on his behalf did not immediately return a message seeking comment.