(CNN)A sharply hit foul ball struck a girl during the Chicago Cubs' game with the Astros in Houston on Wednesday night, sending the young fan to a hospital and pausing the contest as the batter knelt in shock.
Foul ball injures a young fan at the Cubs-Astros game and leaves a distraught baseball player in tears
Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. hit the line drive in the fourth inning, into the field-level seats on the third-base side at the Astros' Minute Maid Park.
The crowd let out a collective gasp when the ball struck the child. Almora was distraught, throwing his hands behind his head immediately after seeing the impact.
The girl was taken to a hospital, but her condition was not immediately available. A fan who was sitting nearby, David LeVasseur, told CNN that the child appeared to be conscious as she was being carried away.
Before finishing the at-bat, Almora 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 girl was hit and appeared to cry in the arms of a female security guard.
A shaken Almora told reporters of his regret after the Cubs' 2-1 victory, 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.
Major League Baseball announced in 2018 that all 30 league ballparks were extending protective netting to at least the far ends of both dugouts -- that is, the ends farthest from home plate -- intending