Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ death ruled accidental from mix of drugs, alcohol

Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the first inning of a game against the Oakland Athleticsat Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 06, 2019 in Anaheim, California. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died from ingesting a mix of alcohol and the opioids fentanyl and oxycodone, according to a toxicology report released Friday.

The cause of the pitcher’s July 1 death was listed as “mixed ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents,” according to the report, first obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

The determination means Skaggs essentially choked on vomit caused by his ingestion of the drugs and alcohol. His death was ruled accidental.

Skaggs, 27, was found dead in his hotel room in Southlake, Texas, where the team was staying while in town to play the Texas Rangers. In a statement to The Times, the Skaggs family said they are “heartbroken to learn that the passing of our beloved Tyler was the result of a combination of dangerous drugs and alcohol.”

“That is completely out of character for someone who worked so hard to become a Major League baseball player and had a very promising future in the game he loved so much,” according to the family. “We are grateful for the work of the detectives in the Southlake Police Department and their ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s death.

“We were shocked to learn that it may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angels,” according to the family, without elaborating. “We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them. To that end, we have hired attorney Rusty Hardin to assist us.”

Skaggs was a native of Woodland Hills and a graduate of Santa Monica High School. He and his wife, Carli, were married in December, and they had no children.

Skaggs was one of the most popular players in the clubhouse and had been one of the Angels’ most reliable pitchers this season, going 7-7 with a 4.29 ERA in 79 2/3 innings across 15 starts. He was 28-38 with a 4.41 ERA during a seven-year career that was interrupted by the Tommy John surgery in 2014 and several other injuries.

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