Garrett Richards lay on the ground for several minutes, his left knee damaged and his season seemingly over.
The right-hander's injury while running to cover first base is a big loss that overshadowed the Los Angeles Angels' seventh win in eight games.
"Winning the game, obviously, it's always important, but it's secondary to what happened," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after an 8-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night. "This is a tough night for us. We'll just see where Garrett is. Obviously, it's a significant injury."
Richards, 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA, left after 1 2-3 innings with a patellar injury. He will be re-evaluated in Los Angeles on Thursday.
"I had a chance to talk to him," Angels pitcher Jered Weaver said. "He just wanted to know what the story was. He wasn't feeling too much pain when he was on the table. When the doctor came in and told him that he might have done something to his patellar tendon and there might be surgery involved, he kind of lost it."
The injury cast a cloud over a strong game by Josh Hamilton, who broke out of a 5-for-41 slump with two hits and three RBIs. Before Tuesday's game, he took extra batting practice.
"Clearing my head and just remembering what it was like as a little kid, in high school, to go out and take BP and have fun," Hamilton said. "It sure helped."
Richards left trailing 2-0. Boston made it 3-0 on David Ortiz's homer in the third off Cory Rasmus (3-1).
That gave Ortiz his eighth 30-homer season with Boston, tying Ted Williams' club record. Ortiz went 4 for 4 and is 8 for 10 in the series with four walks. Alex Hassan pinch hit for him in the ninth and grounded out.
"He was starting to get a little sore. He's obviously been on base this entire series, and he started to get some tightness," Boston manager John Farrell said.
The Angels scored a run in the fourth on a double by Hamilton and an RBI single by Kendrick, and added five in the fifth.
Clay Buchholz (5-8) took a 3-1 lead into the fifth but let the first six batters reach base. That sent Boston toward its fourth straight loss and the Angels to a 1 1-2-game lead in the AL West over the Oakland Athletics..
"Just missed location with a couple of pitches and they were able to put a big inning together," Buchholz said.
The Angels loaded the bases on a single by Erick Aybar, a walk to Chris Iannetta and a single by Efren Navarro. A walk to Kole Calhoun drove in a run, and Los Angeles tied it when Mike Trout's popup to short right field dropped in. Calhoun was forced out at second after holding up to see if the ball would be caught.
The next three batters drove in runs: a single by Albert Pujols, a sacrifice fly by Hamilton, and a single by Kendrick.
Richards left the field on a stretcher after being hurt on a potential double-play grounder. Brock Holt grounded to first baseman Pujols, who threw to shortstop Aybar for the out at second. Richards fell while running to first for a return throw, but Aybar spun and threw instead to third where Xander Bogaerts, who had run past the base, dove back safely.
"Garrett's taking this hard," Scioscia said. "This is a huge blow for him."
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