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Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Carlos Gomez visits injured child

ESPN.com news services

ATLANTA -- A boy who was struck in the head by a foul ball at Turner Field was visited in the hospital by players from both the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers.

The boy, who has not been identified but was said to be 8 years old, was sitting behind Atlanta's first-base dugout Tuesday night when he was hit by Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez's liner in the seventh inning. Gomez looked toward the stands with concern, while Braves pitcher Julio Teheran crouched on the mound and grimaced. The boy was hustled up the aisle and later transported to a hospital.

The boy's family requested privacy and asked that neither his condition nor the hospital where he was being treated be released, although the Braves said shortly after the game he was "conscious and talkative."

Gomez met with the child and his family Wednesday.

Just went to see the young fan that was hit by my foul ball last night. He was in great spirits and I had a chance to sign the ball.

- Carlos Gomez (@C_Gomez27) May 21, 2014

"When it's a little kid, it's on my chest," Gomez said before the third in a four-game series against the Braves. "I get on my knees and pray to God that everything goes well with that kid."

Gomez left a message with the family after the game and went to the hospital before heading back to Turner Field. He said the child was in "great spirits."

"I'm a father," said Gomez, who also signed the ball that was fouled into the stands. "It was important to me to talk to him and have the opportunity to stay with him. He was really happy."

Out of respect for the family, Gomez wouldn't go into detail about the boy's condition. But he urged fans to be more mindful of foul balls, especially when sitting in the dangerous zones along the first- and third-base lines.

"These are professional ballplayers hitting the ball. The ball comes really hard. It can kill you," he said.

"I wanted to see him. I wanted to talk to him. Today I had the opportunity to go, and at least mentally I feel good. And I can perform today. Because I was so upset."

Two members of the Braves, third baseman Chris Johnson and catcher Gerald Laird, went to the hospital right after the game. The child was asleep but Johnson dropped off a bat signed by the entire Atlanta team, while Laird signed one of his gloves for the youngster.

"It's the least we can do as players," Johnson said. "He's a little kid. It was his first game."

Johnson said the victim was 8 years old. He was treated by medical personnel at the stadium before being taken to the hospital.

The Braves released a statement wishing him "a speedy recovery."

Teheran was clearly shaken by the incident, though he bounced back to pitch a six-hitter. Atlanta beat the Brewers 5-0.

"That was scary for me," Teheran said. "I knew it hit somebody. It was fast and hard. No one had a chance to get out of the way."

He sent his best wishes to the child.

"If anyone knows him, please let him know I hope he's fine," Teheran said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.