Los Angeles Angels right-hander Garrett Richards sustained a torn patellar tendon in his left knee during a nasty tumble Wednesday night and will undergo season-ending surgery next week.
Richards' knee buckled when he was covering first base during a game against the Boston Red Sox. He was treated on the field for 10 minutes before being carted off on a stretcher.
The expected recovery time from the surgery is six to nine months, which could extend into the start of the 2015 season.
The loss of Richards is a big blow for the first-place Angels in their bid to win the American League West title and reach the postseason.
Richards, having an ace-like season with a 13-4 record and a 2.61 ERA in 26 starts, went down in a heap covering first base in a game against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park and suffered what manager Mike Scioscia called at the time "a significant injury."
"It's a tough night," said Scioscia, whose team entered Thursday's play leading the Oakland Athletics by 1 1/2 games in the AL West with seven games between the teams coming up the next two weekends. "I can't tell you how bad we feel for Garrett and how hard he's worked. ... This is a tough night for us."
The 26-year-old Richards is the second member of the Angels' rotation to go down; Left-hander Tyler Skaggs underwent Tommy John elbow surgery earlier this season.
TANAKA TO THROW BP
New York Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka has progressed to live batting practice and will face hitters Saturday, his first exposure to hitters since being diagnosed with a partially torn right elbow ligament.
Manager Joe Girardi said Tanaka, who threw a 25-pitch bullpen session August 16, was able to mix split-finger fastballs and breaking pitches in Wednesday's 35-pitch workout Wednesday.
Last Saturday was the ace's first bullpen session in a month since going on the disabled list. Three different physicians diagnosed the small tear and recommended platelet-rich plasma therapy.
Tanaka has been on the disabled list July 9. The club hopes he can avoid season-ending surgery and return in September.
The Japanese star is 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA over 18 starts in his first season as a major leaguer.
VERLANDER TO START SATURDAY
Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander is planning to start Saturday at Minnesota after pain-free throwing sessions in St. Petersburg, Fla.
"I would say it's strong to quite strong," Verander said Wednesday night of his chances of starting at Target Field this weekend.
Verlander missed his previous start with shoulder pain.
Manager Brad Ausmus said the decision will be Verlander's whether to start the day or night portion of Saturday's scheduled twinbill against the Twins.
Verlander expressed relief over the MRI exam taken last week, which revealed no structural damage to his right pitching shoulder. He was removed Aug. 11 after giving up five first-inning runs to the Pirates with soreness in his multi-million-dollar shoulder.
Verlander laid down a bunt when his turn to bat came up, then stormed into the clubhouse. He admitted after the game to being worried what the MRI would show.
ANGELS ACQUIRE BECKHAM
The Los Angeles Angels, looking to bolster their infield depth for a run at an American League playoff berth, acquired second baseman Gordon Beckham from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for cash and a player to be named, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
Beckham is batting .221 with seven home runs and 36 RBIs in 390 at-bats this year. He is a career .244 hitter in six seasons with the White Sox.
The 27-year-old veteran is expected to back up Howie Kendrick and David Freese with the Angels.
Beckham is in the second year of arbitration eligibility and is making $4.18 milion this season. He is to become a free agent after the 2015 season.
CUBS PUT JACKSON ON DL
The Chicago Cubs placed struggling right-hander Edwin Jackson on the 15-day disabled list with a lat strain and put shortstop Starlin Castro on the bereavement list Thursday.
To take their spots on the roster, the Cubs called up left-hander Zac Rosscup and infielder Logan Watkins from Triple-A Iowa.
Castro will be out a minimum of three days and as long as a week after he left the team because of a family emergency.
The struggling Jackson has a 6-14 record with a 6.09 ERA this season. In his last outing on Wednesday, he gave up seven earned runs against the San Francisco Giants in 2 2/3 innings.