By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians are expanding the safety netting at Progressive Field for the 2018 season.

The club will extend the current vertical netting behind home plate down the first- and third-base lines to the ends of the dugouts in an effort to better protect fans from hard-hit foul balls and bats flying into the stands. Also, the canopy nets will be extended slightly down the third-base line.

The AL Central champions are prioritizing fan safety while using the latest technology to “minimize the intrusion on the live-game experience” at the ballpark.

Jim Folk, the team’s vice president of ballpark operations, says the changes balance the interactivity of the game with the top priority of safety.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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