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Hanley Ramirez leads Red Sox past Astros 10-3, forces ALDS Game 4

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Red Sox DH Hanley Ramirez had himself a day on Sunday in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Astros. The veteran of 13 seasons went 4-for-4 with a double and three RBI, helping the Red Sox defeat the Astros 10-3 to force Game 4. Ramirez joins Jake Lamb as players to have four-hit games so far this postseason.

The Astros started quick, plating three runs off of Red Sox starter Doug Fister in the top of the first inning. Josh Reddick knocked in the first run with a single and Carlos Correa followed up with a two-run home run with one out. In the top of the second, the Astros nearly had another three-spot. Carlos Beltran walked and Yuli Gurriel singled to open the frame. After getting Brian McCann to line out, manager John Farrell yanked Fister from the game, handing him the shortest ALDS start since 2014. Joe Kelly came in and had his heart sink when Reddick lifted a fly ball to deep right field, but Mookie Betts caught the ball over the wall before it could land, stealing a three-run home run.

From there, it was all Red Sox. They cut the deficit by one with a Sandy Leon RBI single in the bottom of the second against starter Brad Peacock. In the third, the Sox put together a two-out rally. Mitch Moreland doubled, then scored on Ramirez’s single. Francisco Liriano relieved Peacock, then served up a go-ahead two-run home run to Rafael Devers. Devers is the sixth player since 1903 to hit a postseason homer before the age of 21.

David Price came in to relieve Kelly to start the fourth and turned in a stellar performance. His tenure in Boston has been rocky, to say the least, so he needed this and so did the Red Sox. He hurled four shutout innings, yielding four hits and a walk while striking out four on 57 pitches.

The Red Sox broke the game open in the seventh. The first five batters reached base: Andrew Benintendi walked, then Betts and Moreland singled to load the bases. Ramirez then ripped a ground ball double to left-center field, pushing two more runs across for a 6-3 game. Devers then blooped a weak single to shallow left field to score another run. After Leon flied out, Jackie Bradley, Jr. lifted a home run down the right field line that glanced off of the glove of a leaping Reddick, bumping the score to 10-3.

Addison Reed entered in the eighth, working around a two-out Gurriel single for a scoreless frame. Carson Smith came on in the ninth and, despite giving up a pair of singles, had a stress-free time closing out the 10-3 victory.

The series continues on Monday (time to be determined, per MLB.com’s Alyson Footer) with the Astros leading two games to one. The Astros will send Charlie Morton to the hill. The Red Sox have not announced a starter yet.

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.