Justin Verlander cautions MLB: Extend netting 'before it's too late'

DETROIT -- After a female fan was hit by a foul ball during the eighth inning of Friday night's game between Detroit and Texas, Tigers starter Justin Verlander called on Major League Baseball to extend the protective netting behind home plate, saying it's "something that needs to be addressed immediately."

"It seems like something happens once a game, where a ball just misses a fan and, inevitably, it's always small kids or women, you know," Verlander said after the Tigers' 2-0 loss. "It's just something that needs to be looked at, and hopefully it doesn't get to the point where something really serious happens before there's an adjustment made."

Verlander later took to Twitter and implored the league to make changes "before it's too late."

Verlander wasn't alone. Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos echoed his teammate's call for enhanced safety measures at major league parks.

"Nets need to go up all around baseball, without a doubt," Castellanos said. "Even in minor league stadiums. I remember in West Michigan, on field trip days, I've seen kids get hit. I've seen multiple fans get hit, and I don't know what the cause is -- why they haven't done it yet, but for the safety of the fans, I think it's necessary.

"If today doesn't get nets up, what is it going to take?"

The fan, sitting behind the home team dugout, was hit by a ball off the bat of Detroit's Anthony Gose, delaying the game for about seven minutes.

"The knot on that lady's head was bigger than the baseball. If that hit her flush on the face she might have died," Gose said. "She didn't do anything wrong. She just wants to enjoy a game. Now put up a net and people will still enjoy the game. You're not going to lose that many people or that much money putting up a net. I guarantee it."

According to a team spokesperson, the fan was treated by first aid at Comerica Park and transported to Detroit Receiving Hospital for further evaluations and X-rays.

She was discharged from the hospital early Saturday morning, and the Tigers were still trying to get in touch with her, the team spokesperson said.

"Those low liners, they catch us off guard in the dugout, and we're Major League Baseball players, and we still get hit," Verlander said. "So everybody else can be in serious danger."

Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said fan safety "is a growing concern," and that while it's not really his call, "it's something that should be looked at."

Friday's episode follows a string of similar incidents this season in which a fan was noticeably injured at an MLB game.

Tonya Carpenter, 44, suffered what police initially said were life-threatening injuries when she was hit in the head by a broken bat during a game between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on June 5.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said at the time the sport must "react strongly" to that accident.

Last month, an A's season-ticket holder asked a federal court in a lawsuit to order Major League Baseball to extend the safety netting at its ballparks the entire length of the foul lines.

The commissioner's office has said that it is discussing safety with the clubs.

"I know it's something that is in heavy conversation of what to do," Tigers general manager Al Avila said. "Do you put up netting, not put up netting? If you do put up netting, how do you do it? It's something right now that is being looked at seriously."

ESPN.com's Katie Strang and The Associated Press contributed to this report.