Sonny Gray clinches the second AL Wild Card for the Athletics

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Sonny Gray was efficient in throwing a shutout against the Rangers on Sunday afternoon, helping the Athletics finally clinch the second AL Wild Card after two tumultuous final months. Gray needed only 103 pitches, scattering six hits with five strikeouts and no walks. The Athletics’ offense mustered two second-inning runs on a Josh Reddick RBI triple followed by a Stephen Vogt RBI single, then added two more insurance runs in the top of the ninth, which was plenty for Gray.

Gray ends his first full season in the majors with terrific numbers: 14-10 with a 3.08 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and a 183/74 K/BB ratio.

Had the Athletics lost, the Mariners could have forced a tie-breaker on Monday with a win against the Angels. The Mariners are currently leading the Angels 4-0 in the fifth inning as of this writing, but it doesn’t matter now.

The Royals will host the Athletics on Tuesday at 8:07 PM ET. James Shields is slated to start for the Royals opposite Jon Lester for the Athletics. Should be a good one. The winner of the AL Wild Card game moves on to face the Angels in the ALDS, which starts on Thursday.

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.