Angels Pay Tribute to Pitcher Tyler Skaggs During Friday’s Game

Tanya Simon
July 13, 2019

The pitcher's grieving teammates returned to Angel Stadium on Friday night for the first time since Skaggs was found in his hotel room in Texas almost two weeks ago.

The night began with a touching pre-game ceremony that included a video tribune, a 45-second moment of silence and Skagg's softball-coach mother throwing a strike on a ceremonial first pitch after Debbie Skaggs used a finger to write her late son's initials on the pitcher's mound.

The last combined no-hitter in California was thrown in Oakland on July 13, 1991 - the exact day Skaggs, a California native, was born.

Following the 13-0 win, the Angels all removed their No. 45 jerseys and laid them on the mound. "He was definitely looking over us tonight".

Trout crushed a 454-foot, two-run homer to left-centre on the first pitch he saw from Leake.

After closing out the first half of the season on the road and then going into the All-Star break, the Angels did not play their first home game after Skaggs' death until Friday night when they hosted the Seattle Mariners. What an unbelievable game to be a part of.

"Tonight was in honor of him", center fielder Mike Trout said.

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"Tonight is about him", injured Angels infielder Zack Cozart said before the game.

In between those two melancholy, magical moments, the Angels played their heavy hearts out in their first home game since their beloved pitcher's death. After an uncommonly slow trot around the bases, Trout pointedly looked up in the direction of Skaggs' family in the stands.

For the rest of the season, a No. 45 patch will remain on the player's jerseys, his locker will be kept intact and everywhere they go on the road, a locker will be left for him, Major League Baseball said. The well-liked pitcher controlled the Angels' clubhouse stereo system with an iron fist, but he also eagerly shared pointers and encouragement with his teammates - including Peña, who repeatedly thought about Skaggs' constant exhortations to focus while he completed the no-hitter. Pena hurled the final seven innings.

"It's been a tough week. we just support each other".

"He's still a part of the team, even though he's not here", Angels manager Brad Ausmus said.

"I think guys will become emotional again, because it is still very fresh", Ausmus said.

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