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Fan hit in eye by foul ball at Rays game, removed on stretcher

Rays designated hitter Steven Souza Jr. checks on a fan who was hit by his foul ball during the seventh inning. The ball went through a small opening where new protective netting is attached to old netting.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Rays designated hitter Steven Souza Jr. checks on a fan who was hit by his foul ball during the seventh inning. The ball went through a small opening where new protective netting is attached to old netting.

ST. PETERSBURG — A fan sitting near the Rays dugout was taken from Friday's game on a stretcher after being hit in her left eye with a foul ball.

The unidentified female fan was sitting in the second row of seats behind the protective netting that was added this season, but the ball, off the bat of Steven Souza Jr., went through a small gap — maybe 4-5 inches wide where the new netting is attached to the old.

"She was beat up pretty good,'' Souza said. "It looked liked it caught her right in the eye, which wasn't a good sight."

As emergency medical personnel attended to and stabilized the fan, Souza, the Rays DH, came out of the dugout and into the stands to check on her.

RELATED: Rays add extra netting to cover opening after Friday incident

"That's just the way Souza is, a pretty caring guy," manager Kevin Cash said. "I think anybody that would have hit the ball would've been a little rattled, shaken."

The game against the White Sox was delayed 12 minutes as she was attended to and placed on a stretcher that was on the field and wheeled out.

Given how narrow the gap is, Souza said there were "astronomical" odd that a ball could have gotten through.

"Totally unfortunate,'' Souza said. "That woman's health is way more important than my results in the game.''

Fan hit in eye by foul ball at Rays game, removed on stretcher 04/16/16 [Last modified: Saturday, April 16, 2016 4:22pm]
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