CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor wasn’t thinking about his home run that helped the Cleveland Indians beat Kansas City Royals 5-4 on Sunday. Instead, the All-Star shortstop was only concerned about the young child who was struck by a line drive he hit.
In the latest instance this season around the majors of a fan being injured by a foul ball, Lindor said he was told his liner sent a 3-year-old boy to the hospital.
“It stinks, man,” Lindor said. “You don’t want to get nobody hurt. I have heard the kid is doing well. He’s in the hospital. He’s getting checked and all I know is he’s in stable condition and he’s doing good.”
“In a way, that makes me happy, but it stinks, you don’t want that to happen to anybody, especially a little kid.”
The Indians said in an e-mail following the game that they could not disclose any information.
An adult holding the child immediately left the seating area after Lindor’s drive down the right field line in the sixth inning. Lindor said he stepped out of the box briefly before continuing the at-bat against pitcher Glenn Spellman.
“You take that moment to say a little prayer, ‘God, help him. Hope he’s OK,'” he said.
The protective netting at Progressive Field runs to the end of each dugout. Lindor’s line drive landed several sections beyond the netting and was about 12 to 15 rows into the stands.
Lindor echoed the calls of many major leaguers to extend the netting. The Chicago White Sox are set to become the first team in the majors with netting that goes from foul pole to foul pole on Monday.
Last month, a 2-year-old girl was sent to the hospital with head injuries by a foul ball in Houston.
“I encourage every MLB team to put the nets all the way down,” Lindor said. “I know it’s all about the fans’ experience of interacting with players and I completely get that. You want to have that interaction with the fans, getting autographs and stuff, but at the end of the day, we want to make sure everybody comes out of this game healthy, and we got to do something about it,” Lindor said.
“Everybody feels bad. And if we can put the nets a little bit further down, I think it would be a lot better,” he said.
Lindor said he changed his approach when he stepped back in the box against Spellman.
“You try to go back to this, focus on the pitcher, focus on the at-bat, focus on your job,” Lindor said. “That at-bat, I didn’t want to pull the ball at all.”
“I was just trying to hit it somewhere else, not hit it in that direction, because then what happens is somebody gets hit and then everybody’s paying attention to that person and nobody remembers there’s a game going on. You don’t want to pull the ball again, because then now you hit somebody else. It’s not fun,” he said.