ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Angels took the field Tuesday evening with heavy hearts, just hours after the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
The 27-year-old lefty was found dead in a hotel room Monday afternoon in Southlake, Texas, but investigators say they don’t suspect foul play or suicide in his death.
The team faced the Rangers in Arlington, Texas, where Angels manager Brad Ausmus spoke somberly about Skaggs during an emotional news conference earlier Tuesday.
“The game itself can be a refuge for the players where they can turn their minds off and just focus on baseball,” said Ausmus. “And I don’t know that sitting in a hotel room would do them any good.”
A moment of silence will be held prior to the game in memory of Skaggs, a native of Woodland Hills and a graduate of Santa Monica High School. He and his wife Carli were married in December. They had no children.
Monday night’s game between the Angels and Rangers was canceled in response to Skaggs’ death.
Fans gathered at Angel Stadium to pay tribute to Skaggs – some bringing flowers and balloons, others dropping off baseball caps with sentimental messages.
“Particularly, I put my hat on that side of the mound…because Tyler was a left-handed pitcher and I want him to see it every time he pitches up there,” said fan Ken Beckman, who visited the stadium during his lunch break.
The Angels will return home July 12 for their first game at the stadium since Skaggs’ passing.