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Reds, Pirates benches clear after Chris Archer throws behind Derek Dietrich

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The Reds-Pirates series finale got a little heated on Sunday afternoon when Pittsburgh right-hander Chris Archer threw behind Cincinnati’s Derek Dietrich. The offending incident occurred in the second inning, when Dietrich spotted a 91.7-m.p.h. fastball from Archer and cranked a 436-foot, two-RBI home run all the way out of PNC Park — then took his sweet time admiring it before running the bases.

When Dietrich stepped up to the plate again in the fourth inning, Archer retaliated by throwing behind the batter. The benches quickly emptied and Yasiel Puig broke away from his teammates to take on the Pirates’ entire lineup, inspiring what may be the single greatest photo to come out of a dugout-clearing fracas:

Following the dust-up, Reds manager David Bell, right fielder Yasiel Puig, reliever Amir Garrett, and Pirates relief pitchers Keone Kela and Felipe Vázquez were ejected. It doesn’t appear as if any players were seriously harmed in the brawl, but any resulting suspensions have yet to be announced.

The Reds currently trail the Pirates 3-4 in the fifth.

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.