Alex Gordon takes live batting practice for the first time since suffering groin injury in early July

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Royals left fielder Alex Gordon made a significant stride Saturday in his recovery from a Grade 2 left groin strain, taking live batting practice on the field at Kauffman Stadium. It was his first live BP session since he landed on the disabled list on July 8.

“I still have a while,” Gordon told the Kansas City Star when asked about a timetable for his return to the Royals’ active roster. “There’s still a lot of things that I have to accomplish before I go out there. And with the team having the big lead like we have in the [AL Central standings], there’s no reason to rush it.”

Jarrod Dyson and trade deadline acquisition Ben Zobrist have been handling left field in Gordon’s absence.

Kansas City has the biggest division lead of any team at 10 1/2 games.

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.