With the memory of Tyler Skaggs weighing heavy on their hearts, the Los Angeles Angels won their first game since the death of the much-loved 27-year-old pitcher who got to play for his favorite childhood team.
“He was an exceptional young man with an entire life so full of promise yet to live. For some reason, that is incomprehensible to all of us, he lives on now only in our minds and our hearts,” general manager Billy Eppler said before Tuesday night’s 9-4 win at Texas. “Our team will never be the same without him. But forever we’ve been made better by him.”
The Angels decided to play a day after the postponement of the series opener against the Rangers. Skaggs was found unresponsive in his hotel room on Monday. A cause of death has not been reported.
Before Angels starter Jose Suarez threw his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning, the left-hander appeared to write something in the dirt with his finger. He then touched the No. 45 painted on the back of the mound and tapped his heart.
Justin Bour pointed skyward after his two-run single in the sixth inning, when the Angels went ahead to stay with four runs to break a 3-3 tie. Kole Calhoun was more emphatic with his reaction when crossing home plate after his two-run homer in the eighth.
Bour hit the only pitch he faced after taking over the full count of All-Star second baseman Tommy La Stella, who fouled off a pitch that hit him squarely on his right shin. La Stella was helped off the field.
Manager Brad Ausmus said the game would “be a refuge for players.” The win got them back to .500 for the season at 43-43.
Pirates 5, Cubs 1: Adam Frazier hit a three-run homer off Mike Montgomery after a long rain delay to lead host Pittsburgh, a day after he tied a major-league record by hitting four doubles.
Nationals 3, Marlins 2: Patrick Corbin pitched seven strong innings, Trea Turner doubled home the winning run in the ninth and host Washington defeated Miami.
Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 6: David Price won his fifth straight decision, Rafael Devers homered twice and matched his career high with six RBIs, and visiting Boston snapped a three-game skid.
Reds 5, Brewers 4: Christian Yelich hit his major-league-leading 31st homer but also was charged with a throwing error that allowed the winning run to score in the 11th for host Cincinnati.
Rays 6, Orioles 3: Charlie Morton struck out six straight batters and 12 overall, and host Tampa Bay won its fourth straight game.
Mets 4, Yankees 2: Michael Conforto hit a two-run double to snap an eighth-inning tie and lift the Mets at Citi Field.
Phillies 2, Braves 0: Aaron Nola pitched eight innings, Jay Bruce hit a two-run double and Philadelphia spoiled Dallas Keuchel’s home debut with Atlanta.
Astros 9, Rockies 8: Yuli Gurriel homered twice and drove in four runs to lead Houston in Denver. Jose Altuve had four hits and Gurriel and George Springer finished with three hits each as the Astros won their fourth straight game.
Indians 9, Royals 5: Jake Bauers matched a career high with four hits while driving in three runs, and visiting Cleveland’s bullpen bailed starter Trevor Bauer out of a late jam.
Tigers-White Sox, postponed: The game in Chicago was called off because of rain; it will be made up in a doubleheader Sept. 27.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Angels-beat-Rangers-a-day-after-death-of-teammate-14068513.php.