Angels go after rare sweep of Red Sox
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have a chance to sweep a four-game series from the Boston Red Sox for the first time in over 52 years, but even accomplishing that feat may not soften the blow that the rotation just took.
After losing one of their top pitchers for most likely the rest of the season, the Angels continue their playoff push on Thursday night versus the Red Sox.
Los Angeles won for the seventh time in its last eight games on Wednesday with an 8-3 decision over Boston and leads the American League West by 1 1/2 games over the Oakland Athletics. However, the Angels' drive toward the playoffs took a huge hit when Wednesday's starter Garrett Richards had to be stretchered off the field due to a left knee injury with two outs in the second inning.
Richards was running to cover first base on a ground ball hit by Boston's Brock Holt when his knee buckled underneath him and he fell to the dirt. He was in obvious pain on the field for several minutes, attended by team medical staff, then was taken away on a stretcher.
He came into the start 13-4 on the year with a 2.53 earned run average, but following the contest, Halos manager Mike Scioscia simply stated that the injury is "significant" without elaborating.
"It doesn't look too good for him," Angels ace Jered Weaver told his team's website. "He's been our guy all year. He's been that guy you count on to get deep in games and pull out a victory. To have something like that happen is obviously a crushing blow to any team. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, and hopefully it doesn't turn out as bad as everyone thinks it is."
Los Angeles was able to shake off the injury for a bit last night, rallying for the victory to move a season-high 25 games over .500. Down 3-0, Los Angeles plated a run in the fourth inning on Howie Kendrick's two-out single, then tacked on five more runs in the fifth inning to seize control.
Josh Hamilton posted two hits and drove in three runs, while Kendrick finished with two RBI and Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols all added an RBI.
"It was huge for us to come back and put some runs on the board," said Trout. "We're all thinking about (Richards). (We) hope everything is all right."
David Ortiz finished 4-for-4 with a solo homer for the Red Sox, who recorded their 70th loss of the season with a fourth straight defeat. Ortiz reached the 30-homer mark for the eighth time in his career, matching Ted Williams for the franchise record.
Yoenis Cespedes and David Ross added an RBI each in defeat, while Clay Buchholz yielded six runs over six innings of work.
"I felt good for just about every pitch," said Buchholz. "I just missed location with a couple of pitches and they were able to put a big inning together."
The Angels, who lost two of three to the visiting Red Sox from Aug. 8-10, haven't swept a four-game series in Boston since May 18-20, 1962 and will turn to right-hander Matt Shoemaker tonight.
Shoemaker is 11-4 with a 3.84 ERA this season in 21 games (14 starts) and 8-3 with a 3.65 ERA in 11 appearances with nine starts since June 17.
He threw the final three frames of a 5-4, 19-inning victory over Boston on Aug. 9, his first ever appearance versus the Red Sox, then followed up with a win over Texas on Saturday. The 27-year-old yielded a pair of runs over 5 2/3 innings.
Though Shoemaker is 5-1 this season on the road, he has posted a 5.70 ERA away from Anaheim.
Taking the mound for the Red Sox will be 25-year-old Rubby De La Rosa, who is coming off a rough outing.
After holding opponents to just one run in back-to-back starts, including a seven-inning victory over the Angels on Aug. 10, De La Rosa was shelled for six runs on nine hits and four walks over four innings of a no-decision versus Houston.
The right-hander is 4-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 12 starts this year and has split two career meetings with the Angels.
08/21 09:55:19 ET