A foul ball off the bat of Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. struck a child?and left Almora visibly shaken during a game against the Astros at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday.
Almora was batting in the top of the fourth inning and lined a ball into the seats on the third-base side of the Houston ballpark. According to those present at the game, that ball hit a small child, who was quickly taken?up the stairs.
Almora was consoled by teammate Jason Heyward, who was on deck at the time, as? well as Cubs manager Joe Maddon. Almora ended up striking out during the at-bat and?did not return to?center field after the half inning.
A really tough scene at Minute Maid Park over the last inning. Albert Almora Jr. of the Cubs hit a hard line-drive foul into the stands that hit a young child. Almora Jr. was extremely shaken up and after the next half inning, he was consoled by MMP security personnel. pic.twitter.com/2hfHX4hvNd— SportsTalk 790 (@SportsTalk790) May 30, 2019
He spoke to a security guard in the area where the child was for an update. He still couldn't contain his emotions, sobbing on the guard’s shoulder.
"I just wanted him to understand, 'This is not under your control. There's nothing you could've done about that differently, so please don't blame yourself,'"?Maddon said after the game, according to ESPN. "Of course, it's an awful moment, but it's a game and this is out of your control and you just have to understand that part of it."
Almora and his wife, Krystal, recently welcomed their second son into the world, which likely factored?into his emotional reaction.
Almora crying after a foul ball hit a fan behind the Cubs dugout. Absolutely brutal. Several players also in shock. pic.twitter.com/u4ogSF23gi— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) May 30, 2019
"I had to try to keep my composure during that at-bat, but when that half-inning was over, I just couldn't hold it anymore," Almora said after the game.?
"Right now, I'm just praying and I'm speechless,'' he said. "I'm at loss of words. Being a father, two boys ... but God willing, I'll be able to have a relationship with this little girl for the rest of my life. But just prayers right now, and that's all I really can control.''
An eyewitness at the game posted to Reddit the child who was hit is a 4-year-old girl. And according to a security guard, the girl was alert but was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
Just saw this pop up on Reddit. Praying it’s true pic.twitter.com/DWz2ansonH— David Mendez (@Babydocdave) May 30, 2019
The Astros?released a statement on Twitter, saying, "The young fan that was struck by a foul ball during tonight's game was taken to the hospital. We are not able to disclose any further details at this time. The Astros send our thoughts and prayers to the entire family."
A statement from Major League Baseball released Thursday noted the league will continue to explore ways to protect fans: "The events at last night's game were extremely upsetting. We send our best wishes to the child and family involved. Clubs have significantly expanded netting and their inventory of protected seats in recent years. With last night's event in mind, we will continue our efforts on this important issue."
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Chicago Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. shaken after foul ball strikes child