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What’s on tap: Previewing Friday Night’s Action

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It’s not until tomorrow night, but I really can’t believe baseball hasn’t stepped in and stopped Clayton Kershaw from pitching against the Braves tomorrow. Kids watch this game. They don’t need to see carnage like that, Rob Manfred. Do something, will ya?

As for tonight, R.A. Dickey vs. David Price is a great matchup for people who haven’t watched baseball in, like, four years and still want to know the names of the pitchers. Same with Johnny Cueto and Adam Wainwright in St. Louis. Yu Darvish gets his second start of the year and will try to go beyond five innings this time out, even if the last outing was a good five innings.

On the less famous end of the spectrum we have the Rockies, who just got clobbered by the Reds of all teams, trotting out Chris Rusin to face the Padres, whose owner may decide to simply disband them and open up a taco stand given how things have been going for them lately. Drew Pomeranz: the fate of your franchise depends on you. No pressure.

Have a nice weekend, y’all.

Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Francisco Liriano), 7:05 PM EDT, PNC Park

Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Vince Velazquez), 7:05 PM EDT, Citizens Bank Park

New York Yankees (Nate Eovaldi) @ Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman), 7:05 PM EDT, Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Chicago White Sox (Carlos Rodon) @ Detroit Tigers (Jordan Zimmermann), 7:10 PM EDT, Comerica Park

Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez) @ Cleveland Indians (Danny Salazar), 7:10 PM EDT, Progressive Field

New York Mets (Noah Syndergaard) @ Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler), 7:10 PM EDT, Marlins Park

Toronto Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey) @ Boston Red Sox (David Price), 7:10 PM EDT, Fenway Park

Washington Nationals (Gio Gonzalez) @ Cincinnati Reds (Brandon Finnegan), 7:10 PM EDT, Great American Ball Park

Seattle Mariners (Taijuan Walker) @ Texas Rangers (Yu Darvish), 8:05 PM EDT, Globe Life Park in Arlington

Oakland Athletics (Jesse Hahn) @ Houston Astros (Doug Fister), 8:10 PM EDT, Minute Maid Park

Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi) @ Minnesota Twins (Ricky Nolasco), 8:10 PM EDT, Target Field

San Francisco Giants (Johnny Cueto) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright), 8:15 PM EDT, Busch Stadium

Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Kenta Maeda), 10:10 PM EDT, Dodger Stadium

Colorado Rockies (Chris Rusin) @ San Diego Padres (Drew Pomeranz), 10:40 PM EDT, Petco Park

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.