The Latest: Ausmus thinks baseball is a “refuge” for Angels

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Tyler Skaggs

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs throws to the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 29, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs (all times CDT):

4:45 p.m.

Angels manager Brad Ausmus says playing a game is “going to be a refuge for players” as they grieve for late teammate Tyler Skaggs.

Los Angeles is preparing to play its first game since the 27-year-old pitcher died Monday.

Asked about the decision to play Tuesday night, Ausmus said the first game back was going to be tough regardless, and he isn’t sure sitting in a hotel room an extra day would do the players any good.

“A lot of problems go away when the first pitch is thrown until the last pitch is thrown,” general manager Billy Eppler said, adding that Skaggs would still be weighing heavy on the hearts of the players.

Ausmus wiped tears from his eyes when he talked about the time Angels players spent together Monday, when they talked about Skaggs, including some of the goofy things he did and listening to his music.

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4:15 p.m.

Rangers manager Chris Woodward says he can’t even imagine what Angels manager Brad Ausmus and his players are going through as they get ready for their game a night after the death of Los Angeles pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

“I hate to even put myself into that, because it breaks my heart just to think about something like that,” Woodward said about three hours before Tuesday night’s scheduled first pitch. “The shock of it all, it’s heartbreak.”

Woodward says he reached out to Ausmus and said the Rangers would lend support in any way they could for the Angels.

“Obviously once the game starts, the game is going to be the game,” Woodward said. “Both teams are going to play like they normally would, but there’s still going to be something over the stadium that’s a little different.”

The Angels’ clubhouse was closed to reporters before the game. The team said it would closed afterward, too.

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3:55 p.m.

Former Angels teammate and close friend Patrick Corbin will wear Tyler Skaggs’ No. 45 when he starts for the Washington Nationals against the Miami Marlins.

Manager Davey Martinez says he asked Corbin if he wanted to push back his scheduled Tuesday night start under the circumstances, but Corbin wanted to pitch the day after Skaggs’ death.

The left-hander normally wears No. 46.

Corbin and Skaggs were both drafted in 2009 by the Angels, traded to Arizona together in 2010 and made their MLB debuts in 2012 with the Diamondbacks.

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3:45 p.m.

Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo says it’s going to be a “strange game” playing the Angels a day after the death of 27-year-old Los Angeles pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Gallo says he had to “take a seat” Monday when he heard the news that Skaggs had been found unresponsive in his Dallas-area hotel room. Gallo says, “I definitely feel for the Angels and that organization.”

Monday night’s game between the Angels and Rangers was postponed, but the teams are set to play the second game of a four-game series as scheduled Tuesday night. The Rangers say a moment of silence will be held in honor of Skaggs before the game.

The Angels’ clubhouse is closed to reporters.

Police in Southlake are investigating Skaggs’ death and say no foul play is suspected. An initial report by the Tarrant County medical examiner didn’t list a manner or cause of death.

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11:55 a.m.

The Texas Rangers say a hold a moment of silence will be held before Tuesday night’s game in honor of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who died a day earlier.

Major League Baseball postponed Monday night’s scheduled series opener between the Rangers and the Angels after Skaggs would found unresponsive in his hotel room and pronounced dead at the scene.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler, manager Brad Ausmus and team president John Carpino plan to address the media Tuesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

The Rangers say proceeds from a 50-50 raffle at the game will be donated to the Angels Baseball Foundation.

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2 a.m.

The Los Angeles Angels are trying to cope with the loss of a teammate.

Pitcher Tyler Skaggs died Monday after being found unresponsive in his hotel room in Texas before the team’s scheduled series opener against the Rangers.

Police in Southlake, Texas, said they were investigating, but that no foul play was suspected. Skaggs was pronounced dead at the scene after police responded to a call at the hotel Monday afternoon.

The team, in a statement, called the 27-year-old Skaggs “an important part of the Angels Family” and said its thoughts and prayers were with his wife and entire family “during this devastating time.”

Monday’s game was postponed.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler, manager Brad Ausmus and team president John Carpino planned to address the media Tuesday afternoon.

The teams were scheduled to play a night game. There was no immediate word about the status of the game.

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