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Royals hang on to beat the Mets in 2016 season opener

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The Royals had a pretty firm grasp on the 2016 season opener against the Mets, a rematch of the 2015 World Series. Starter Edinson Volquez pitched six shutout innings while Lorenzo Cain reached base three times and Eric Hosmer logged three hits, helping the Royals ascend to a 4-0 lead.

It was looking like a comfortable win, but the Mets struck for three runs in the top of the eighth to nearly erase their four-run deficit. With the bases loaded and one out against reliever Joakim Soria, Lucas Duda slapped a two-run single to the opposite field, also opening up the opportunity for Yoenis Cespedes to advance to third base. Neil Walker brought him home on a ground out, but that was as far as the Mets got.

Closer Wade Davis came in, but found himself in immediate trouble. He issued a leadoff walk to Travis d'Arnaud and a one-out single to Curtis Granderson, putting runners at first and third. Davis bounced back, striking out David Wright looking, then getting Cespedes to strike out on an outside fastball.

Mets starter Matt Harvey, who had a health scare last week, pitched better than his line score indicates. He gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts. He was hurt in the first inning when Cespedes dropped a routine fly ball and d’Arnaud couldn’t handle a fastball, allowing runner advancement.

The 2015 World Series rematch will continue on Tuesday afternoon, the final game of the two-game set. Noah Syndergaard will toe the slab for the Mets while Chris Young starts for the Royals. There has been some hubbub surrounding Syndergaard over a report that indicated the Royals would seek revenge for an up-and-in pitch he threw to Alcides Escobar in Game 3 of the World Series. The Royals, however, shot down that report and Syndergaard doesn’t think he did anything worthy of revenge.

Thus concludes an exciting day of baseball on Opening Day. If you missed the other action, Francisco Liriano pitched the Pirates past the Cardinals with 10 strikeouts, and the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman killed the Rays with ground balls. The rest of the league opens up the season on Monday.

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.