SunTrust Park
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Video: Greg Bird hits the first home run in SunTrust Park history

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The Braves christened their new ballpark on Friday during an exhibition game against the Yankees. Traffic issues notwithstanding, the park drew an estimated 21,392 fans, who were rewarded with an 8-5 win thanks to some late-game heroics from shortstop Jace Peterson.

The first home run in SunTrust Park history, however, came not from the Braves but from the bat of Yankees’ first baseman Greg Bird, who went deep in the third inning against Atlanta right-hander Bartolo Colon:

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The Braves responded in the bottom of the third when Freddie Freeman punished a 1-0 pitch from Michael Pineda for a three-run homer over the right field fence. They tacked on another five runs in the sixth, capitalizing on a fielding error and bases-loaded walk and adding a three-run double to overtake the Yankees, 8-5.

While the Braves may not have been the first to record a home run in their new ballpark, the rest of their performance looks like a good omen as the team heads into the 2017 season. They’re scheduled to make their official season debut in the park on April 14 against the Padres.

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.