BOSTON — It was a scary scene in the bottom of the second inning at Fenway Park, when Angels ace Garrett Richards crumpled in a heap as he attempted to cover first base on Brock Holt’s fielder’s choice.
With runners on first and second, and one out, Holt grounded to Albert Pujols at first, who threw to shortstop Erick Aybar at second for an out. As Richards ran to cover first, for a possible double play, it appeared his left knee or ankle buckled on him as he reached the base.
First base umpire Andy Fletcher immediately signaled time out and waved for personnel from the Angels dugout.
Richards lay on the ground for nearly 10 minutes, in obvious pain, while Angels trainers and Fenway Park EMTs worked on him, assisted by Red Sox medical personnel.
If this is a season-ending injury for Richards, it would be a huge blow to the Angels’ playoff hopes. They had already lost starter Tyler Skaggs to a season-ending injury.
Entering Wednesday’s game, Richards was 13-4 with a 2.53 ERA. He was one behind Max Scherzer and Scott Kazmir for the American League-lead in wins, and was fifth in ERA. His 1.95 road ERA leads the AL, while his.195 opponents’ batting average is tied for the league lead. The right-hander’s seven-game win streak earlier in the season is the longest in the AL this year.
Richards was taken off the field on a gurney, his leg immobilized.
UPDATE: In the top of the fifth the Angels announced Richards has a left knee patellar injury. The full extent of the injury won’t be known until Richards undergoes further examination.