Jaime Garcia tallies career-high 10 strikeouts in return

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Jaime Garcia looked about as good as the Cards could have hoped for in his return from an eight-week stint on the disabled list Sunday at Busch Stadium.

The left-hander struck out a career-high 10 batters while allowing just two unearned runs and five hits over eight strong innings against the visiting Pirates.

Garcia threw 73 of his 107 pitches for strikes and didn’t walk a single batter, lowering his ERA (now 4.00) nearly a half-point from where it was on June 6 (4.48) when he first landed on the 15-day disabled list because of an impingement in his throwing shoulder.

Garcia is the first Cardinals left-hander to tally double-digit strikeouts in a game since Mark Mulder in May of 2005 and he’s the first to hit that mark without issuing a walk since Rick Ankiel in September 2000.

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.