SAN DIEGO (AP) — You had to see it to bee-lieve it.The Houston Astros – who once had the “Killer Bs” – had to wait out a 52-minute bee delay before finishing their 7-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Thursday.The delay, which came with two outs in the top of the ninth, 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 RBIs.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’s 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 5 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’s seen similar swarms at the downtown ballpark, some the size of a soccer ball, but just not during games.
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