PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Pirates game against the Chicago Cubs was delayed 23 minutes Monday night after a female fan behind home plate was hit in the back of the head by a ball off the bat of Starlin Castro.

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The Pirates said in a statement the woman was conscious and alert when she was taken out of the seating are on a stretcher. She gave a thumbs-up gesture to nearby fans before being taken to a hospital.

The woman was standing in the first row behind home plate with her back toward the field when Castro fouled a ball straight back against the protective screen. The ball was hit with such force that it struck the fan.