Lopes leaves team indefinitely following death of brother

WASHINGTON -- The Phillies just completed their final workout before opening day here at Nationals Park, but they did so without a key member of the team. First base coach Davey Lopes is in his hometown Providence, R.I., following the death of his brother in a house fire on Friday.

Michael Lopes was pulled from in the basement of a three-story house in Providence by firefighters with severe burns and was later pronounced dead, according to published reports. Two other family members were in the house at the time and escaped safely.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation but appeared to start in the basement, an assistant fire chief told The Providence Journal.

"Because of the death of a family member, Davey Lopes is currently not with the club," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Davey and his family at this difficult time. We hope to have Davey back on the field with us real soon."

In his absence, hitting coach Milt Thompson will coach first base.

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