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Swarm of bees invade Angels-Mariners clash

ESPN staff
September 23, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
A local beekeeper came to the rescue after a swarm of bees interrupted the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's MLB clash with the Seattle Mariners © AP
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A swarm of bees twice invaded the field during the MLB clash between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Seattle Mariners, before a local California beekeeper and a fire extinguisher persuaded them to buzz off for good.

The Angels had two runners on base and two outs in the third inning when the bees first interrupted at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Players and fans scattered as a few brave ground staff and crowd volunteers, including beekeeper John Potom from Long Beach company Honey Pacifica, attempted to deter the swarm with a broom, a Gatorade cooler and a cardboard box.

To bee or not to bee

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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 centre field.

"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 scary."

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 the Mariners' Justin Smoak, who was playing first base. "First time I've ever had that."

"That dude just came out of the stands and said 'It's OK. I'm a beekeeper'," Angels pitcher C.J. 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."

There was another short delay in the fourth inning 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 there."

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 before."

The bees missed the finish of a gritty 3-2 victory for the Mariners and a streak-snapping defeat for Wilson, who lost for the first time in 13 starts since July 5 against Boston.

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This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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