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Houston (38-39) «2010300017101
San Diego (34-44)000010001290

Astros take down Padres despite bee swarm delay

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- It was the kind of late-inning buzz that none of the players had experienced before.

The Houston Astros -- who once had the "Killer Bs" -- beat the San Diego Padres 7-2 on Thursday, but only after waiting out a 52-minute delay in the top of the ninth inning caused when a swarm of bees took over left field at Petco Park.

It certainly gave a new meaning to getaway day.

"It's how this year's going. Bizarre things. You think you've seen it all in baseball and you're going to see something new," said Houston's Geoff Blum, who hit a three-run homer and finished with four RBI.

The drama began with Houston leading 6-1 with two outs in the top of the ninth. San Diego's Kyle Blanks started walking in from left field, trying to get shortstop Everth Cabrera to call time. It ended when a beekeeper obliterated a ball of bees that followed a queen bee under a ballgirl's jacket that was slung over the back of a chair down the left-field line.

"I kind of saw one or two floating around my head," Blanks said. "Then I turned around and there was a wall. I started to walk in and tried to get Everth to call time."

Blanks said he was allergic to bees. "It's not something I want to tempt," he said.

He wondered what would happen if Miguel Tejada pulled a ball down the line.

"It was a pretty thick wall of bees and I really didn't want a piece of it," he said.

"The umpires made the right call to stop the game," Padres president Tom Garfinkel said. "There's a couple thousand bees there. If they decide to swarm on a person, whether that's a player, an employee or obviously a fan, we could have a real situation."

The game was halted at 3:09 p.m. Five minutes later, both teams were cleared from the field.

The beekeeper arrived at 3:56 p.m., quickly did his job to applause from the fans that remained, and the game resumed five minutes later.

The swarm first appeared along the warning track. Later, fans were cleared out of several sections down the left-field line as the bees swarmed around the chair.

Head groundskeeper Luke Yoder thinks they were regular honey bees. Groundskeepers thought about putting a trash can over the chair, but didn't want to take the chance in case they were Africanized honey bees.

"It looked harmless, but let me tell you there was a big ball of bees under that jacket," Yoder said. "Every one of those bees you saw in the outfield, every single one of them went underneath that jacket."

Yoder said he has seen similar swarms at the downtown ballpark, some the size of a soccer ball, but just not during games.

The bees arrived more than 24 hours before Manny Ramirez makes his comeback from a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy, when the Los Angeles Dodgers open a three-game series against San Diego on Friday night.

"Definitely a first time for me," Houston manager Cecil Cooper said. "I didn't know what happened initially. I just saw the guy walking in. I didn't know exactly what he was doing. Then I started to see kind of the swarm after a while. You don't want to get anybody hurt. That's the main thing."

The Astros outscored the Padres 20-7 in taking three of four. It's the first time the Astros (38-39) have been one game under .500 since they were 1-2 on April 8.

San Diego has lost eight of nine games against Houston dating to last season.

Wandy Rodriguez (7-6) beat the Padres for the second time in as many starts this year, holding them to one run and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked two.

Blum, a former Padres player, gave the Astros a 6-0 lead when he homered to right on a 2-1 pitch with one out in the fifth, his second. Tejada opened the inning with a single and Lance Berkman -- one of the "Killer Bs" along with the now-retired Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio -- followed with a walk.

"It was a good series for us," Cooper said. "Everybody contributed for us. For the first day in a long time, we got a big, big hit to kind of break things open."

Blum also hit an RBI single in the first. Berkman scored three runs, had two doubles, two walks and an RBI.

The Padres loaded the bases on a single and back-to-back walks with no outs in the third and the heart of the order coming up, and failed to score. Adrian Gonzalez forced Kevin Correia at the plate and Kevin Kouzmanoff hit into a double play.

Correia (5-6) allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked three.

With ace Jake Peavy and Chris Young both on the disabled list, Correia had been San Diego's most consistent starter. He was 4-1 in his previous five starts, with a 2.41 ERA and 29 strikeouts.

Note

Astros starters have posted a 2.13 ERA in the past 12 games, going 6-1 with five no-decisions.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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The Padres call in a beekeeper to disperse the swarm that causes nearly an hour delay.  (AP)
The Padres call in a beekeeper to disperse the swarm that causes nearly an hour delay. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

G. Blum
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Houston

W. Rodriguez
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 2
K 5
 
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF5220001 .291
Miguel Tejada, SS4120101 .333
Lance Berkman, 1B3321210 .265
Carlos Lee, LF5021004 .302
Geoff Blum, 3B4124011 .266
Hunter Pence, RF4001001 .306
Kazuo Matsui, 2B4000012 .244
Humberto Quintero, C4000020 .266
Wandy Rodriguez, P2000110 .034
    Alberto Arias, P1000010 .000
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Totals36710747  
Batting
2B - Lance Berkman 2 (15, Correia, Thatcher)
HR - Geoff Blum (2, Correia)
RBI - Lance Berkman (48), Carlos Lee (47), Geoff Blum 4 (24), Hunter Pence (33)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman (18)
SB - Michael Bourn (26, 2nd base off Correia/Blanco)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Tejada-Matsui-Berkman, Blum-Berkman, Tejada-Matsui-Berkman
E - Geoff Blum (2, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez (W,7-6) 7711250 3.21
Alberto Arias 1000010 1.99
Tim Byrdak 0.2211100 3.71
Jose Valverde 0.1000000 3.78
HBP - Gonzalez (by Alberto Arias)
WP - Tim Byrdak (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 108-70, Alberto Arias 16-10, Tim Byrdak 29-20, Jose Valverde 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 10-4, Alberto Arias 2-0, Tim Byrdak 1-1
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 28, Alberto Arias 4, Tim Byrdak 5, Jose Valverde 1
San Diego Padres
Everth Cabrera, SS4111101 .286
Scott Hairston, CF4021102 .314
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B3000025 .265
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B4000034 .235
Kyle Blanks, LF4000011 .194
Edgar Gonzalez, RF4110000 .187
Henry Blanco, C3010100 .211
Luis Rodriguez, 2B4010003 .204
Kevin Correia, P1010000 .190
   a- Chase Headley, PH1000000 .235
    Greg Burke, P0000000 .000
   b- Tony Gwynn Jr., PH1010000 .308
    Mike Adams, P0000000 .000
    Joe Thatcher, P0000000 .000
   c- Eliezer Alfonzo, PH1010000 .286
Totals3429236  
a-grounded out for Correia in the 5th
b-singled for G. Burke in the 7th
c-singled for Thatcher in the 9th
Batting
2B - Scott Hairston (14, Rodriguez), Edgar Gonzalez (5, Byrdak), Henry Blanco (5, Rodriguez)
RBI - Everth Cabrera (5), Scott Hairston (28)
2-OUT RBI - Scott Hairston (15)
SB - Scott Hairston (8, 3rd base off Arias/Quintero)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Kyle Blanks 1
San Diego Padres
Kevin Correia (L,5-6) 5866331 4.58
Greg Burke 2000010 3.68
Mike Adams 1000010 2.35
Joe Thatcher 1211120 5.17
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 106-65, Greg Burke 34-22, Mike Adams 11-7, Joe Thatcher 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 6-5, Greg Burke 2-3
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 25, Greg Burke 6, Mike Adams 3, Joe Thatcher 6
Game Information
Attendance - 23284
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether