Page last updated on Sun Dec 21 18:14:51 EST 2014
09/22/2013 8:52 PM EDT
Bees delay Mariners' 3-2 win over Angels

AP Sports Writer

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The bees swarmed the field in the third
inning, moving to the outfield walls while players and fans
scattered before them. They stuck around for a couple of innings
before a fan volunteer and a fire extinguisher persuaded them to
buzz off.

They missed the finish of a gritty victory by the Seattle
Mariners and a streak-snapping loss for C.J. Wilson.

Justin Smoak hit a tiebreaking two-run homer, Felix Hernandez
had 10 strikeouts in a four-inning start and the Mariners beat
the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Sunday in a game delayed twice by

Both teams retreated to their dugouts during an initial
23-minute delay. The bees roamed over the right side of the
field and eventually hovered near the ficus trees beyond the
wall in center.

"They started coming out of the stands," said Franklin
Gutierrez, the Mariners' right fielder. "I saw (fans) going out,
and then the bees started coming to right field. That was

Gutierrez doesn't know if he's allergic to bee stings, "but I
just started running away just in case."

"Mid-pitch, I had them swarming around my head," said Smoak, who
was playing first base. "First time I've ever had that."

The Angels had two runners on and two outs in the third when the
bees interrupted. Most fans stayed in their seats as a few brave
grounds crew members and crowd volunteers attempted to deter the
swarm with a broom, a Gatorade cooler and a cardboard box.

"That dude just came out of the stands and said `It's OK. I'm a
beekeeper,"' Wilson said. "It was like a `Seinfeld' episode. Do
you tip a bee guy? Throw him a 20? I don't carry cash on me when
I'm pitching, so it wouldn't have been me."

Hernandez escaped a bases-loaded jam when the game resumed, but
there was another short delay in the fourth when Mike Trout and
Kole Calhoun began swatting at more bees in the outfield.

"I thought they had gotten rid of all of them, and then when I
got out there, all the fans were yelling: `They're on the
ground! They're on the ground!"' Calhoun said. "So I'm looking
around and I see them swarming and stuff, and then I see a pile
of bees on the ground - hundreds and hundreds of bees. There
were bees everywhere. I had to call (umpire) Jim Joyce over

A quick blast from the fire extinguisher dissuaded the bees from
sticking around.

"Kole was really freaking out all of a sudden because I guess
there was a softball-size bee colony that was swarming on the
ground," Wilson said. "It was amazing. I've never seen that

Despite the bees' rude interruptions, Hernandez set a major
league record for strikeouts in a four-inning start. King Felix
hadn't pitched in 20 days since leaving a loss at Kansas City on
Sept. 2 with a strained oblique muscle.

Hernandez walked four and gave up a run in the Angels'
second-inning rally, but otherwise looked sharp in his return to
the rotation.

"I was just trying not to overthrow, just throw strikes," said
Hernandez, who left feeling fine after 92 pitches. "It was a
little different with the bees. I was talking to the guys: `I'm
going to be in the clubhouse if they come over here."'

Oliver Perez (3-3) struck out the side in the fifth inning after
relieving Hernandez. Danny Farquhar, the Mariners' fifth
reliever, pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 19 chances.

"We had to use a lot of guys, most of which were tired and at
the end of their ropes, but they did fine," Seattle manager Eric
Wedge said.

Mike Zunino had an early RBI double in just the third win in 14
games for the Mariners.

Wilson (17-7) pitched eight-hit ball into the ninth inning but
lost for the first time since July 5 against Boston, ending a
streak that saw him go 9-0 over 13 starts. The left-hander
struck out nine while reaching 200 innings for the fourth
consecutive season.

Wilson had two outs and two strikes before Smoak lifted a
tailing fly into the short stands down the left-field line. The
homer was Smoak's 18th this season, but his first batting

Wilson got a big ovation when he left with one out in the ninth
after 123 pitches. He was 13-1 with a 2.91 ERA in his previous
18 starts since June 14.

"It's frustrating to get outpitched, but it happens," Wilson

Calhoun hit a solo homer in the eighth inning, and Efren Navarro
got his first career RBI for the Angels, who couldn't finish off
a three-game sweep. Los Angeles had won nine of 11 and 21 of 28
for the majors' best record since late August despite getting
eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday.

Los Angeles had plenty of opportunities to help out Wilson, but
stranded three runners in the seventh and two more in the

NOTES: Just eight pitchers have thrown 200 innings in each of
the past four seasons. ... Seattle had lost five straight to Los
Angeles. ... The Angels' last five games have been decided by
one run.

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