Fan struck by ball at Rays game leaves field on stretcher
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) A fan struck by a foul ball left on a stretcher in the seventh inning of the Chicago White Sox against the Tampa Bay Rays game Friday night.
The fan was sitting in the lower box seats on the home plate side next to Tampa Bay's first-base side dugout. Rays designated hitter Steven Souza Jr. fouled off the ball that struck the fan and he went into the stands to check on her.
The game was delayed about 12 minutes so the injured fan could be removed on the stretcher that was brought out near the on-deck circle.
No other details about the fan's injuries were immediately available.
The ball went through a gap between netting of about the size of one and a half baseballs behind an area designated for photographers.
The primary home-plate area screen at Tropicana Field to protect fans ends at the start of the photo area. A second screen was installed this season behind the photo area. The ball got through the narrow opening.
After several fans were hurt by broken bats and foul balls, MLB announced in December recommendations to extend safety netting at its ballparks to the ends of both dugouts and anywhere within 70 feet of home plate.