Tigers’ playoff rotation has Scherzer in Game 1 and Verlander, not Price, in Game 2

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Tigers manager Brad Ausmus announced the team’s rotation for the ALDS.

Max Scherzer will start Game 1 against the Orioles, followed by Justin Verlander in Game 2, David Price in Game 3, and Rick Porcello in Game 4. Anibal Sanchez, who hasn’t had enough time to build back his arm strength after a disabled list stint, will spend the series in the bullpen as a potential late-inning bullpen option.

Price pitched the regular season finale Sunday, shutting out the Twins for 7.1 innings as the Tigers clinched the AL Central title. Game 2 of the ALDS is Friday, so Price could have started on his normal rest.

Ausmus is going with Verlander instead despite the former MVP’s ugly 4.54 ERA and league-high 104 earned runs allowed this season. Verlander did finish on a high note, allowing just two total runs in 15.1 innings against the Royals and White Sox, but Price has been vastly superior all season. Of course, if the Tigers stick to a four-man rotation only Scherzer could be starting two games during the ALDS anyway.

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.