Former first-round pick Eric Hurley, who missed the past two seasons with shoulder and wrist injuries, was struck in the head by a line drive in the first inning of Triple-A Round Rock's game at New Orleans on Monday night.
Hurley, who allowed two runs over five innings in his first start of the season April 8, threw just four pitches against the Zephyrs before taking a one-hop comebacker to the head off the bat of Bryan Petersen. The 25-year-old right-hander got the tip of his glove on the ball, but still suffered solid contact.
He maintained consciousness and left the field under his own power, but was taken to East Jefferson General Hospital in Metairie, La., for precautionary measures.
Hurley, a first-round pick (30th overall) in the 2004 Draft, moved quickly through the Texas system before making his Major League debut with the Rangers on June 12, 2008. He went 1-2 with a 5.47 ERA in five starts with the Rangers that season, but did not pitch again professionally between his final game with the Rangers on July 27, 2008 and his first outing with Triple-A Round Rock on April 8, 2011. He began the season with a 34-30 record and 3.96 ERA in 109 career Minor League games.
Round Rock went on to win, 3-1. Express leadoff man Esteban German collected three hits for the second consecutive game and reliever Chris Mobley, who took over from Hurley, earned the victory with 2 2/3 scoreless frames.
The Express took the final three games of the four-game set in New Orleans and head to Oklahoma City for four games against the RedHawks starting Tuesday night.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.