Dustin Pedroia is injured, so Brock Holt gets a starting job and Deven Marrero gets a call up

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Dustin Pedroia exited Wednesday’s game with a strained hamstring and now the former MVP-winning second baseman is headed to the disabled list, with the Red Sox calling up prospect Deven Marrero from Triple-A to take his roster spot.

Pedroia suffered the injury after hitting a two-run single, rounding first base and then hopping back to the bag in pain. He was having a nice bounceback season after a rough 2014, hitting .307 with nine homers and an .819 OPS to basically match his career numbers at age 31.

Marrero was the Red Sox’s first-round draft pick in 2012 and was expected to move quickly through the minors as a college shortstop, but instead he’s struggled to turn himself into a productive hitter. This season at Triple-A he hit .241 with four homers and a .644 OPS in 66 games and Marrero has a lifetime .683 OPS as a pro.

Brock Holt, not Marrero, is starting at second base in Pedroia’s absence today. And that makes sense given how well Holt has hit while playing all over the diamond as a super-utility man. Marrero figures to serve as a bench player for now.

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.