Chicago White Sox starter Michael Kopech hobbled after throwing a pitch and exited Sunday’s start against the Texas Rangers in the first inning with right knee discomfort.
The training staff checked on Kopech after he threw a strike to the third hitter of the game, Rangers’ Adolis García, making the count 3-2. Kopech threw 13 pitches.
After a discussion, Kopech attempted to throw a warmup pitch, but quickly stopped. He spiked the ball behind the mound and left the game.
Kopech has been one of the top pitchers on the White Sox as he returned to the rotation after spending most of last season as a reliever. He entered Sunday with a 2-2 record and a 1.94 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 10 starts.
His highlights this season include allowing one hit in seven shutout innings against the New York Yankees in Game 2 of a May 22 doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. In that game, Kopech retired the first 17 batters before Rob Brantly broke up the perfect game with a two-out double in the sixth.
He allowed one hit while striking out eight and walking one in six innings in a 4-0 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Kopech was replaced Sunday by Reynaldo López.
The Sox have been hit hard with injuries all season. Pitchers Lance Lynn (right knee surgery), Vince Velasquez (left groin strain) and Joe Kelly (left hamstring strain), shortstop Tim Anderson (right groin strain) and left fielder Eloy Jiménez (right hamstring tendon tear) are among those currently on the injured list. Lynn is slated to return Tuesday at Detroit.