Los Angeles Angels ace starting pitcher Garrett Richards was carted off the field on a stretcher in the second inning of Wednesday's game against the Boston Red Sox with what appeared to be a serious injury to his left knee.
The Angels announced midgame that Richards had sustained a patellar injury to his left knee, but did not mention the severity of the injury. A club official stated that more information would come at a later time.
How it happened
The injury occurred with runners at first and second base when Brock Holt hit a ground ball to the right of first baseman Albert Pujols, who threw across to shortstop Erick Aybar for the force, while Richards raced over to cover first base, but his knee collapsed underneath him a few steps before the bag. Richards fell to the ground and grabbed his left knee while Angels trainers sprinted to his side.
Richards remained on the ground for several minutes while all of his teammates on the field gathered around him at first base, and Red Sox slugger David Ortiz came out of the dugout to join them.
After some time, Angels skipper Mike Scioscia and Pujols helped in lifting Richards onto the stretcher. Pujols again assisted as Richards was lifted onto a wheeled stretcher and carted off the field. Richards raised his right hand to acknowledge the crowd at Fenway Park who quietly applauded.
What it means for the LA Angels
The loss is huge for the Angels, who took over the lead in the American League West for the first time since May. Richards took a 13-4 record and a 2.53 ERA into Wednesday's game in what had been a breakout season for the 26-year-old right-hander. Opposing hitters came into the game hitting just .195 against him, which was tied with Felix Hernandez for lowest among American League qualifying pitchers.
Boston was able to record one run in the first inning on two singles and a sacrifice fly by the newly acquired Yoenis Cespedes. A single, walk and RBI single by David Ross made the score 2-0 in the second. The Angels were able to come back and take the lead - Richards received a no-decision in the contest.
With Oakland currently struggling, and dropping eight out of their last 10 games, it will be important for the Angels to build as big of a lead as possible with their All-Star pitcher likely sidelined for at least the remainder of the rest of the season, and possibly much longer.