Manny Machado dropped to seventh in Orioles’ batting order

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Manny Machado has struggled since returning from left knee surgery and Orioles manager Buck Showalter has dropped him to seventh in the order for tonight’s game against the Astros.

Machado has functioned exclusively as Baltimore’s No. 2 hitter since he was activated on May 1, but he’s batting just .224/.280/.296 over his first 25 games. While the 21-year-old has hit safely in 10 out of his last 11 games, he hasn’t shown much in the way of power and his patience is still a work in progress. This is his first start in the lower-third of the batting order since he was first called up late in 2012, but he surely won’t stick there for long if his production begins to pick up.

The Orioles are going with Steve Pearce as their No. 2 hitter tonight against right-hander Brad Peacock.

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.