Cubs outfielder overwhelmed with emotion after striking child with foul ball

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HOUSTON, TEXAS – MAY 29: Albert Almora Jr. #5 of the Chicago Cubs, center, is comforted by Jason Heyward #22 and Javier Baez #9 after checking on a young child that was struck by a hard foul ball off his bat in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 29, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

A foul ball struck a young fan during a game between the Cubs and the Astros in Houston on Wednesday night.

The child was taken to a hospital after the fourth-inning incident at the Astros’ Minute Maid Park, but the fan’s condition was not immediately available.

Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. hit the line drive into the field-level seats on the third-base side, past the dugout’s far end. He was visibly distraught, throwing his hands behind the head immediately after seeing the impact.

He got down on one knee and lowered his head as his manager and a teammate consoled him.

Later in the game, Almora went to the area of the stands where the child was hit and appeared to cry in the arms of a female security guard.

A shaken Almora told reporters of his regret after the game, and of his hope that he’d be in touch with the child.

“As soon as I hit it, the first person I locked eyes on was her,” he said, speaking hesitatingly, his eyes down. “… Obviously I didn’t want that to happen and intend for that to happen.”

“God willing, I’ll be able to have a relationship with this little girl for the rest of my life. Prayers right now, and that’s all I really can control.”

The Houston Astros confirmed the child was taken to a hospital, but declined to provide further information.

“We are not able to disclose any further details at this time. The Astros send our thoughts and prayers to the entire family,” the team said in a statement.

Before the start of last season, Major League Baseball announced that it was extending protective netting at all 30 ballparks to at least the ends of both dugouts, intending to enhance fans’ safety.

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