BOSTON (AP) — Josh Hamilton broke out of a slump with two hits and three RBIs, Howie Kendrick drove in two runs, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Boston Red Sox 8-3 to increase their AL West lead on Wednesday night.
Hamilton was in a 5-for-41 slump with 18 strikeouts but hit two sacrifice flies and then singled in the Angels’ final run in the ninth inning.
The Angels’ seventh win in eight games put them 1 1-2 games ahead of Oakland but it was costly. Right-handed starter Garrett Richards sustained a patellar injury in his left knee while running to cover first base in the second inning. The extent of the injury wasn’t known.
Richards, 7-2 in his previous 11 starts, left after 1 2-3 innings with a 2-0 deficit. Boston made it 3-0 on David Ortiz’s homer in the third off winning pitcher 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.
But the Angels scored a run in the fourth on Kendrick’s RBI single and five more 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.
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 all 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.
Angels: Hamilton played center field as Trout was switched to designated hitter. Manager Mike Scioscia said nothing was physically bothering Trout, but he wanted to give him some rest.
Red Sox: C David Ross started after being activated following a stint on the disabled with right plantar fasciitis. 3B Will Middlebrooks didn’t play after straining his right hamstring while running out an infield single in the fourth inning of the Angels’ 4-3 win Tuesday night.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker (11-4, 3.84 ERA) pitches Thursday night as the Angels go for a four-game sweep. Shoemaker last faced the Red Sox on Aug. 9 when he shut them out for the last three innings of the Angels’ 5-4 win in 19 innings.
Red Sox: RHP Rubby De La Rosa (4-4, 3.79) goes for the Red Sox. On Aug. 10, he allowed one run in seven innings in a 3-1 win over the Angels in Los Angeles.