The Boston Red Sox, struggling to keep pace in the American League East with the sizzling New York Yankees, now face another problem: they may have to chase the Yanks without center fielder Fred Lynn.
Lynn, the American League's MVP and rookie of the year in 1975, pulled up lame legging out a hit in the Sox' 9-6 win over Texas Thursday night.
Lynn has been hobbled by a ligament injury to his left ankle all season. He has played hurt since and the team is hoping he can play hurt now.
"It hurts as much as it did in May," Lynn said "We'll just have to wait and see."
Starting right fielder Dwight Evans is already on the disabled list and backup Rick Miller is hobbled by a bad knee hurt in a collision with Evans.
More injured stars, Joe Rudi, one of the big-money free agents who was going to lead the California Angels to their first pennant, will undergo surgery Sept. 2 for removal of bone fragments in his right hand.
Rudi joins former Oriole Bobby Grich, another of those lightening Gene Autry's pocketbook, on the sidelineds for the remainder of the season.
Rudi, who has not played since June 8, was batting 264 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI when he was injured. He played in 64 games after signing a $2 million five-year contract with the Angels in November. California is 60-63, in fifth place in the AL West, 12 games out of first.