CHICAGO -- A young boy was struck in the face by a bat at Wrigley Field on Wednesday, but he returned after the freak accident to watch the Cubs rally to beat the Marlins.
With one out in the top of the sixth inning, Giancarlo Stanton was facing Jeff Samardzija when the slugger swung and missed, and his bat flew into the seats near the Cubs' dugout, about seven rows away from the field. Anyone watching could only cringe as the bat struck the boy.
The father grabbed the boy, believed to be 3 years old, and left the seating area, and his mother followed. Their identities were not revealed.
"That's a tough little kid right there," Samardzija said. "That didn't hit anything but that kid's jaw. It went right into his face. They got him out of there. It was tough to see. They brought the kid back and it looked like he was doing all right. He'll have a good story for the rest of his life -- he took a bat to his face and walked away from it. That was weird to see."
The family went to the first aid area at Wrigley, and they later returned for the rest of the game. The boy got to keep the bat.
"It's obviously something you never want to have happen, and it's not like I hit a ball out there, [so] I actually did something half-right," Stanton said. "Thank goodness he was all right, because the way his dad carried him off, it was like, the worst."
The father grabbed the boy and hustled him out of the seating area immediately.
"That was terrible," said Stanton, who watched the family leave before resuming play. "I don't have kids, but I have nieces and nephews, and I see a lot of the guys' kids around here all the time. It's never a good thing to see."
Stanton and Samardzija both were told later that the boy was OK.
"He has my bat and I'll give him a ring a little bit later, too," Stanton said.
The inning did not go well for Samardzija either. Stanton eventually singled, and the Marlins loaded the bases to set up Adeiny Hechavarria's grand slam. But the Cubs rallied for a 9-7 win.
Was Samardzija rattled by what happened to the boy?
"I thought we came back," Samardzija said. "Two singles, and I did what I wanted to do, and they found a hole. I didn't want to walk [Logan] Morrison there [before Hechavarria's at-bat].
"[The boy getting hit] didn't affect me," Samardzija said. "It's a freak thing and unfortunate to see."
Solano finding groove with runners in scoring position
CHICAGO -- Donovan Solano entered Wednesday hitting .480 (12-for-25) with 15 RBIs with men in scoring position since July 30.
"I'm focused more on staying relaxed [in those situations]," Solano said. "I don't try to do too much. If you get a base hit, [that's great]. If you don't get a base hit, that's OK. It's baseball."
Marlins manager Mike Redmond said that Solano is the right type of hitter for situations in which runners are in scoring position.
"I think he's a contact guy anyway," Redmond said. "Some guys seem to have more of a knack for [hitting with] runners in scoring position, and I think a guy like him who can kind of inside-out balls, hit the ball to right [and] pull balls, that definitely helps."
Redmond added that he can see Solano's relaxed approach in his at-bats, and that his ability to come through in the clutch can translate throughout the rest of the lineup.
"I think the biggest thing is he doesn't try to do too much," Redmond said. "He just takes a pitch and drives the ball. And when you talk about being successful with runners in scoring position, you've got to get a pitch you can hit and really just put the ball in play, and he's been able to do that.
"Sometimes those at-bats kind of feed themselves throughout the rest of the order, too. Guys are able to feed off of [his] at-bats."
Solano said that he likes being in a spot in which he can drive home a run.
"Any at-bat when somebody's on second or third base, [I want to] get a base hit," Solano said. "We're trying to help the team win in any situation."
Solano added that even if a hitter fails 70 percent of the time, he's considered good.
"If you [get a hit] 30 percent [of the time] in this sport, you will be a good [hitter]," he said.
Ruggiano sends bat to girl hit by baseball
CHICAGO -- During the seventh inning of Monday's 4-3 win over the Cubs, center fielder Justin Ruggiano tossed a ball into the stands at Wrigley Field and it accidentaly hit a little girl in the shoulder.
When Ruggiano found out, he immediately wanted to make a gesture to ensure that the young fan would keep coming out to ballgames.
"I was throwing balls to people in the stands just about every half-inning," Ruggiano said. "One of them got away and went up, I guess, just behind where the people [I was tossing to] were sitting, and she was either walking by or standing there and it hit her in the shoulder.
"I went and asked somebody [about what happened] ... and I told them to tell her I'm sorry and I would send her a bat."
The autographed bat apparently made the little girl's day, as her family responded on Twitter, posting "Thanks @justinruggiano! Josies shoulder is feeling much better & the bat was a beautiful gesture! CLASS ACT."
"I've got kids," Ruggiano said. "I hate to see any kid get hurt at a baseball game. I've seen it happen way too many times with foul balls. The fact that I was part of throwing a ball that hit a fan, I didn't want her to have a bad taste in her mouth from a baseball game. And I didn't want her to think that she's going to get hit with a baseball every time she comes to a game."
• Going into Wednesday's series finale against the Cubs, the Marlins were hitting .323 (10-for-31) with runners in scoring position over their first three games in September. That was a vast improvement on their overall season average of .236 in those scenarios.
Over the first five games of its nine-game road trip, Miami hit .160 (4-for-25) with runners in scoring position.
• Entering Wednesday's game, Christian Yelich had a streak of three consecutive multihit games, including two three-hit games on Monday and Tuesday. Through the first eight games of the nine-game road trip, Yelich hit .481 (13-for-27) with two doubles, two home runs and five RBIs.
The rookie was hitting .368 (28-for-76) in 19 road games on the season and .220 (18-for-82) in 20 home games.
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.