Justin Verlander
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Justin Verlander pitched his third career no-hitter against the Blue Jays

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There’s seemingly no end to the list of Justin Verlander’s accomplishments, and on Sunday, he began working toward another. The Astros ace crafted his third career no-hitter against the Blue Jays, working with a pitch count of 120 and striking out 14 of 28 batters.

Verlander’s perfect game attempt didn’t last long. He struck out Bo Bichette to kick off the bottom of the first inning, then issued a five-pitch walk to Cavan Biggio in the next at-bat. From there, however, the strikeouts began to roll in: two in the first, two in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, another in the fifth, sixth, and seventh, and three in the eighth. Unsurprisingly, he surpassed the 250-strikeout threshold after whiffing Justin Smoak in the fourth, marking the fifth time he’s passed that milestone in his major-league career to date.

While the Blue Jays didn’t quite match Verlander’s skill on the mound, they still managed to hold the Astros scoreless through eight. Aledmys Díaz notched the first hit of the afternoon on a leadoff double in the second, while Yordan Álvarez and José Altuve came back with base hits in the seventh and eighth. In the ninth, powered by an Alex Bregman double, rookie third baseman Abraham Toro launched a two-run homer off of Ken Giles to give the Astros a much-needed lead.

Verlander came back in the ninth with another pristine performance, retiring Brandon Drury on a groundout and whiffing Reese McGuire on a 1-2 slider. For his final out of the afternoon, he fittingly faced off against Bo Bichette one more time, working a full count against the rookie shortstop before inducing a game-ending groundout to third.

Verlander’s performance was the third of its kind since he tossed a no-hitter against the Brewers in 2007 and the Blue Jays in 2011. He’s also the first Astros pitcher to record a no-hitter since August 3, when Houston’s Aaron Sanchez, Chris Devenski, Will Harris, and Joe Biagini combined for a no-no against the Mariners. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, had not been on the losing end of a no-hitter since last May, when they were blanked by then-Mariners hurler James Paxton.

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.