Shane Victorino cleared to begin rehab assignment

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Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino is recovered enough from a hamstring strain that he’s been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Saturday at Triple-A.

Quinn Roberts of MLB.com reports that Victorino is scheduled to play 5-7 innings in the outfield Saturday and perhaps get in a full game for Pawtucket on Monday and Tuesday, at which point the Red Sox may decide he’s ready to come off the disabled list.

This is the second time Victorino has been on the shelf this season, hitting just .242 with one homer and a .627 OPS in 21 games between the injuries. He hasn’t played since May 24 and his return could push the Red Sox into parting ways with Grady Sizemore, who’s really struggled since a good first week.

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.