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Police: Life-threatening injury to fan hit by bat at Fenway

June 6, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — A female fan suffered what police described as life-threatening injuries after being hit by a broken bat that flew into the crowd during Friday’s Major League Baseball game between Boston and Oakland.

The woman was carried out of the Fenway Park stands on a stretcher, bleeding from the head, after being struck by the bat of Oakland’s Brett Lawrie which broke when he hit the ball during the second inning.

Soon after, the game was delayed while the fan was tended to in the first few rows of seats between home plate and the third base dugout. She was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

“You try to keep her in your thoughts and, hopefully, everything’s all right and try to get back to the task at hand,” Lawrie said. “Hopefully everything’s OK and she’s doing all right.

“I’ve seen bats fly out of guys’ hands in(to) the stands and everyone’s OK, but when one breaks like that, has jagged edges on it, anything can happen.”

Alex Merlis said he was sitting in the row behind the woman when the incident happened.

“It was violent,” he said of the impact to her forehead and top of her head. “She bled a lot. A lot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that.”

Merlis said the woman had been sitting with a small child and a man. After she was injured, the man was tending to her and other people were trying to console the distraught child, he said.

Concerned about a rash of flying broken bats and the danger they posed, Major League Baseball studied the issue in 2008 and implemented a series of changes to bat regulations for the following season.

Multi-piece bat failures are down about 50 percent since the beginning of the 2009 season, MLB spokesman Michael Teevan said.

“Our thoughts and concern, and certainly our prayers, go out to the woman that was struck with the bat, her and her family,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “A scary moment, certainly.

“All you can think about is a family, they come to a ballgame to hopefully get three hours of enjoyment, and unfortunately with how close our stands are to the field of action, an accident like this tonight is certainly disturbing.”

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AP Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick in New York and Associated Press Writer Kristen De Groot in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

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