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A spectator falls over the railing in the bullpen in Philadelphia


PHILADELPHIA CREAM — A spectator was taken to a trauma center after falling over a protective railing and into the Red Sox bullpen while searching for a baseball in the first inning of Boston’s game against Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park on Friday evening.

The fan was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, according to medical staff at the scene, after falling down a level from an open hall in Boston’s bullpen in right-center field.

The injury occurred when the fan reached over the railing in an attempt to retrieve a ball thrown in his direction, the Phillies said in a statement. The Phillies said the fan was aware and responsive as they left the stadium. His injuries were not disclosed.

Later in the game, a Phillies employee was cleaning blood from the concrete in the area where the fan fell.

Masataka Yoshida, Boston’s second hitter, was facing Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler when Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado ran from the bullpen to the outfield to draw attention to the incident. Medical workers quickly rushed to the second level of the bullpen as Red Sox relievers watched nearby.

Security personnel immediately cleared the fans from the railing at Ashburn Alley, which is near the bullpen, while medical responders attended to the fan, who was wearing a Phillies jersey. Red Sox relievers watched in concern as silence fell on the near-sold-out baseball stadium that was in vogue for the game and Bryce Harper’s first action in Philadelphia since his elbow surgery. the offseason.

The spectator was tied to a backboard and carried out of the bullpen and field on a stretcher and cart.

“It was really scary for a lot of us,” Boston reliever Josh Winckowski said. “We were all quite worried, uneasy.”

Winckowski said he feared the fan died from the fall. He and the other Boston relievers were able to relax a bit after getting a call that the fan was aware and responsive.

“It meant a lot,” Winckowski said. “Helped a bunch.”

Play resumed after about 10 minutes of delay.

Red Sox relievers Richard Bleier, Chris Martin and Kenley Jansen finally combined for three scoreless innings in Boston’s 5-3 victory over the Phillies.

“Thank goodness,” said Jansen, who made his seventh save. “God was on our side and saved the man.”

Fans remained on the railing later in the game at Ashburn Alley, named after Hall of Famer and former Phillies outfielder Richie Ashburn, which has been a popular hangout since the ballpark opened in 2004. From the railing above the bullpen, which includes a ledge to accommodate food and drink, fans can also watch the bullpen closely from a seating area that also has a ledge.

Some fans wondered on Friday night whether they would be banned from watching the game from this area after the fan fell.

In the original plan for the ballpark, the Phillies relievers sat on the top portion of the bullpen closest to the fans. But the visitor’s bullpen was moved to the upper level and the home bullpen was moved below.


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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.