Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. hit a girl with a foul ball during a game against the Houston Astros on Wednesday, sending her to the hospital and leaving the player visibly shaken.
Almora's blistering foul ball traveled down the third baseline at Houston's Minute Maid Park at a speed of approximately 100 miles per hour and struck the girl. Almora, 25, immediately realized what happened and kneeled down with his head in his arms while teammate Jason Heyward came over to console him.
After the game, Almora, who is father of two boys himself, was still devastated about what happened.
"As soon as I hit it, the first person I locked eyes on was her," he said, according to NBC's Chicago affiliate, WMAQ.
A man who was with the girl quickly raced her up the stairs while she burst into tears.
After the game, the Astros released a statement saying she was taken to the hospital.
"The young fan that was struck by a foul ball during tonight's game was taken to the hospital," the statement reads. "We are not able to disclose any further details at this time. The Astros send our thoughts and prayers to the entire family."
Almora, who was crying in the aftermath of the incident, approached a security guard after the fourth inning to get an update and gave the woman a hug before he returned to the dugout.
"Right now I'm just praying and I'm speechless," he said. "I'm at loss of words."
He also said he hopes the girl will recover and he can be involved in her life as she grows up.
"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," he said.
He struck out after he finished the at-bat and the Cubs went on to win 2-1.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Almora can't beat himself up over what happened.
"I just want him to understand that this is not under your control," Maddon said. "There is nothing that you could have done about that differently, so please don't blame yourself. Of course, it's an awful moment, but this is a game and it's out of your control, and you have to understand it."
This latest incident may renew calls for more safety precautions at Major League Baseball stadiums. In 2017, a young girl was struck by a foul ball at New York's Yankee Stadium, prompting the Yankees to declare they would provide more netting to protect fans.