HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Houston Astros will extend the protective netting at Minute Maid Park to cover more of the seating area, joining other teams that have taken safety measures after foul balls injured fans.

The team announced Thursday that the extended netting would be installed before the homestand starting August 19.

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It will run farther down the left-field and right-field lines to better protect fans from foul balls and bats that fly out of hitters’ hands.

Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park (courtesy: Mark Schnyder)

“Fan experience is always a top priority for the Astros,” the team said as part of an official statement. “The Astros have followed Major League Baseball’s guidelines regarding netting while providing fans with a choice as to whether they sit in areas with or without protective netting.

“These changes will improve the fan’s experience and increase the number of seats behind protective netting. Fans will continue to have the option to sit in areas without netting.”

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A 2-year-old girl suffered a skull fracture when she struck by a foul ball during a May game in Houston.

A 2-year-old girl was hit by a foul ball during a game between the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs on May 29, 2019. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Last month, the Chicago White Sox became the first major league team to extend protective netting from foul pole to foul pole. The safety measure was announced a week after a foul ball sent a woman to the hospital with her head bleeding.

The Astros also said their ballpark’s current netting would be upgraded to knot-less netting for better visibility.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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