Bees delay Mariners’ 3-2 win over Angels

Hernandez looks sharp in return to M's rotation



Apiarist John Potom, of Honey Pacifica, deals with a swarm of bees that held up a baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners for several minutes during the third inning on Sunday.

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

Both teams retreated to their dugouts during a 23-minute delay in the third inning when a swarm of bees invaded the outfield at the Big A, hovering over right-center field near the wall. Bees briefly delayed the game again in the fourth inning before they dispersed.

C.J. 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.

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.

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

Kole 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.

Oliver Perez (3-3) struck out the side in the fifth inning after relieving Hernandez.

Danny Farquhar pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 19 chances.

The Angels had two runners on and two outs in the third when the bees clustered near the right-field wall, sending Mariners outfielders running to the infield. While most fans stayed in their seats, the teams clustered near their dugouts as a few brave grounds crew members and crowd volunteers attempted to deter the bees.

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 bees in the outfield. The grounds crew released a carbon dioxide spray in the outfield to dissuade the bees.

Hernandez walked four and gave up a run in the Angels’ second-inning rally but otherwise looked sharp in his return to the rotation. After striking out his first four batters, he avoided losing a fifth straight start for the first time in his career.

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 first batting right-handed.

Los Angeles missed plenty of opportunities to help out Wilson but stranded three runners in the seventh and two more in the eighth.

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.