Friday Sports in Brief


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died from a toxic mix of the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone along with alcohol in an accidental overdose, a medical examiner in Texas said in a report released Friday.

The 27-year-old Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1 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.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office issued a technical report that said Skaggs died as a result of “mixed ethanol, fentanyl, oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents.”

It said simply: “Manner of death: Accident.”

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that the Los Angeles Angels are picking up the option on general manager Billy Eppler’s contract for next season.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Friday because the move has not been announced.

Eppler is in his fourth year with the Angels. They began the day with a 64-71 record and appear headed for their fifth straight losing season. The Angels haven’t been to the playoffs since 2014.

Eppler signed two-time AL MVP Mike Trout to a 10-year, $360 million contract extension before the season. But his free-agent signees for this year — catcher Jonathan Lucroy, pitcher Matt Harvey and reliever Cody Allen — are no longer with the club.

—By AP Sports Writer Joe Reedy.

PHOENIX (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers placed infielder Max Muncy on the 10-day injured list with a right wrist fracture Friday.

An MRI on Muncy, who is batting .253 with 33 home runs and 87 runs batted in, revealed a small fracture in the wrist, the result of him being hit by a pitch in Wednesday night’s game at San Diego.

X-rays didn’t reveal anything on Thursday, but a further examination Friday before the Dodgers played the Arizona Diamondbacks showed the extent of his injury.

Muncy has appeared in 129 games this season for the National League West-leading Dodgers, the second highest total on the team outside of Cody Bellinger’s 131 games.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees are hoping the end hasn’t come sooner than expected for CC Sabathia.

The 39-year-old left-hander was pulled from a start against Oakland on Friday night with a recurrence of an achy right knee that’s bothered him for years.

Sabathia pitched three innings of one-run ball and was pulled after 48 pitches because the pain in his surgically repaired knee was “a 10,” he said.

“It was hurting all night tonight, for sure,” he added.

Sabathia visited with a doctor during the game and believes he’ll have the knee drained and get a cortisone shot Saturday. He still hopes to return this season but is waiting to be further evaluated.

Sabathia has previously said this will be his last season in the majors.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — David Glass and his family have agreed to sell the Royals to an ownership group led by Kansas City entrepreneur John Sherman in a deal that is expected to be worth about $1 billion.

The Royals announced the sale in a statement Friday, just days after word began to leak that the Sherman group was closing in on an agreement. Sherman and his co-investors will become the third owners since another local businessman, Ewing Kauffman, founded the club in 1969.

The 83-year-old Glass and his family served as caretakers of the franchise following Kauffman’s death, and they took ownership of the club for $96 million in April 2000.

Sherman will need to divest his interest in the Cleveland Indians, believed to be about 30 percent of the franchise, and the deal is subject to the approval of Major League Baseball.

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Former New York Mets second baseman Wally Backman has been arrested in connection with alleged domestic violence on Long Island.

The 59-year-old minor league manager was accused Friday of pushing a woman against a wall, twisting her hand and taking her phone so she couldn’t call 911.

Backman pleaded not guilty to harassment and criminal mischief charges. He was ordered to stay away from the woman and is due back in court Sept. 17.

His team, the Long Island Ducks, says he “categorically denies all charges against him” and will remain as manager.


The NHL informed the NHL Players’ Association on Friday it will not use its option to terminate the existing labor deal next year.

The league announced its decision two days before its deadline to notify the union whether it would reopen collective bargaining talks. The union has until Sept. 15 to decide on whether to terminate the agreement as of September 2020, two years before the existing deal expires.

If the players opt to reopen the CBA, it would set the clock ticking toward a potential third work stoppage in the sport since 2004. If the players choose not to terminate the agreement, it remains in effect until 2022. The next Winter Olympics are in Beijing earlier that year.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said the decision was based on the current financial state of the game, and he believes it is “essential to continue building upon the momentum” while calling it important to have a “sustained period of labor peace.”

The players, however, have concerns, notably regarding escrow, Olympic participation and the split of hockey-related revenue.


SHANGHAI (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation says the Houston Rockets and veteran guard Eric Gordon have agreed on a contract extension that could keep him with the team for another five seasons in all.

Gordon and the Rockets agreed on a three-year extension, which begins with the 2020-21 season, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side has publicly announced the agreement. There is an option for a fourth year to be added, which could push the total value of the new deal to just under $76 million.

The Houston Chronicle first reported the agreement and ESPN first reported certain terms including how the final year is not yet guaranteed unless Gordon is selected as an All-Star or the Rockets win a championship. Gordon will make $14 million this season and then average about $18 million in salary over the following three years.

—By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds.

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Alabama police have issued an arrest warrant for Los Angeles Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge for harassing communications. .

The Mobile municipal court website indicates a warrant was issued for harassing communications, but does not list other details

TMZ released an audio recording Tuesday in which it says Cousins threatens to shoot Christy West, the mother of their 7-year-old child.

Lakers spokeswoman Alison Bogli said Thursday the team had no immediate comment beyond a statement issued Tuesday after learning of the recording.

The Lakers say they “take this claim seriously” and are gathering information and looking into the allegations.

The 6-foot-11, 270-pound Cousins signed with the Lakers last month as a free agent, but the 29-year-old veteran center then tore a knee ligament during a workout earlier this month.


BONHAM, Texas (AP) — Art Briles won his debut as head coach at Mount Vernon High School on Friday night, his first game on American soil since the two-time Big 12 champion coach was fired more than three years ago by Baylor in the wake of a sprawling sexual assault scandal.

Mount Vernon, a Class 3A school about 100 miles east of Dallas, won its opener 44-16 at Bonham, another 3A playoff team last season. The Tigers play on the road again next week before their home opener Sept. 13.

It was the 63-year-old Briles’ first high school game since leaving Stephenville after the 1999 season, when the Yellow Jackets won their fourth Class 4A state title in less than a decade. He had coached 21 prep seasons until then before becoming an assistant coach at Texas Tech, then later head coach at Houston and Baylor.


MIAMI (AP) — Pro Football Hall of Fame center Jim Langer, who was literally in the middle of the Miami Dolphins’ 1972 perfect season, has died at the age of 71.

Langer died Thursday at a Coon Rapids, Minnesota, hospital near his home of a sudden heart-related problem, said his wife, Linda.

Langer was a first-year starter and played every offensive down for the NFL’s only unbeaten, untied team that went 17-0. The following year he helped the Dolphins repeat as Super Bowl champions, and began a stretch of six consecutive Pro Bowl seasons for Miami while playing in 128 games in a row.