BOSTON — The first-place Los Angeles Angels lost 13-game winner Garrett Richards to what appeared to be a serious left knee injury in the second inning but then rallied for an 8-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.
In winning their third straight game in a four-game series that ends Thursday night, the Angels wiped out a 3-0 deficit and scored five runs in the fifth inning while their bullpen was shutting the Red Sox down.
The win moved Los Angeles (75-50) a game and a half ahead of the Oakland Athletics in the AL West as the teams prepare to play three games against each other this weekend in Oakland before four games at Anaheim the following weekend.
But this win, their fifth in six games on their road trip, appeared to be costly to the Angels, who already have lost left-hander Tyler Skaggs for the season with Tommy John surgery.
Richards was taken off the field on a stretcher and the initial report said he had suffered a left patellar (kneecap) injury.
The Angels then scored six runs in two innings off Clay Buchholz (5-8) to send the Red Sox (56-70) to their fourth straight loss and to 14 games under .500, matching their low point of the season.
Previously slumping outfielder Josh Hamilton drove in three runs with a pair of sacrifice flies and an RBI single and added a double for the Angels. Second baseman Howie Kendrick had RBI singles in the fourth and fifth innings.
Right-hander Cory Rasmus (3-1) started a parade of six relievers, giving up only David Ortiz’s 30th home run of the season in the third inning.
Ortiz went 4-for-4 and is 14-for-26 on Boston’s homestand.
The Angels are 9-2 in their last 11 games at Fenway Park, 15-5 overall in their last 20 against the Red Sox.
The Red Sox went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position to drop to 2-for-39 in that category during the losing streak, during which they’ve stranded 41 runners and scored nine runs.
Pedroia had a bad-hop single to start the scoring in the first inning, with left fielder Yoenis Cespedes following with a sacrifice fly. Ross then drove in a second-inning run and Ortiz hit the first pitch of the third to reach 30 homers for the eighth time in his career. That ties him with Ted Williams for the Red Sox record.
In the second inning, Richards was covering first for the possible back end of a 3-6-1 double play and his right leg buckled underneath the left leg. The throw never came as shortstop Erick Aybar threw to third to try to catch Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts rounding the bag. Richards turned over and grabbed his left knee and was clearly in pain.
Ortiz emerged from the dugout and was standing with the group of Angels players around Richards. Ortiz appeared to say something to Richards.
Rasmus relieved with runners first and third and two outs and struck out Dustin Pedroia to end the inning.
With two outs in the visitors’ third inning, Hamilton doubled and scored on a single by Kendrick.
Los Angeles got help from the Red Sox in the big fifth. The Angels loaded the bases with no one out and Buchholz walked home a run. Mike Trout, DHing in this game, then hit a pop fly to short right that fell in between Pedroia and right fielder Daniel Nava.
Nava got a force at second as the tying run scored. First baseman Albert Pujols broke his bat for an RBI single and took second as Nava threw to the wrong base. Hamilton hit a sacrifice fly and Kendrick singled home another run — on a ball that found its way past Pedroia.