The Miami Marlins were on their way to dominating the San Diego Padres for a second straight game before a swarm of bees took over the field at Petco Park.
Jorge Alfaro homered, doubled and drove in a career-high four runs for the Marlins, who beat the Padres 9-3 on Sunday in a game delayed 28 minutes after a swarm of bees settled on a microphone on the netting near the home dugout.
The Marlins led 2-0 on Alfaro’s second-inning home run before the bees interrupted the game.
“That was the first I’ve ever seen that, I think,” said Trevor Richards (3-5), who held San Diego to one hit in five scoreless innings. “I just went in and sat down for a little bit. They told me it was going to be at least 10 minutes. I kind of just took it as almost like another break for an inning. Sat down for a little bit and then once the guy got there I figured I should throw a little bit. Just treated it like a new inning almost, just only had to get two outs that time.”
Richards struck out eight and walked two and the Marlins won two of three. Miami outscored San Diego 18-6 in the final two games.
Hunter Renfroe homered twice to provide all the Padres’ runs.
With the Padres trailing 9-1, they had rookie third baseman Ty France pitch the ninth and he allowed just a single. Austin Hedges, who got the day off from catching, played third.
Padres rookie Josh Naylor was about to bat with two outs in the third when players began scattering because of the bees. Alfaro headed to the dugout and umpire Gerry Davis moved back from the plate.
Eventually all the players left the field. An exterminator in a beekeeping suit climbed a ladder and sprayed the bees. He then used a shop vacuum cleaner to remove the dead bees and the grounds crew tidied up the area.
Naylor flied out to end the inning.
Renfroe said he’s “a nature freak” and wasn’t bothered by the bees.
“Only thing I was wondering is if they were Africanized honey bees or regular honey bees, but other than I was perfectly fine with them,” he said. “I’ve been stung by many a wasp, bees and what have you in Mississippi.”
There were still a few bees buzzing around near the Padres’ on-deck circle later in the game.
“They were still kind of flying around and trying to land on us,” Renfroe said. “I’m sure we smelled a little good and we had cologne or deodorant on and they smelled that so they wanted to come check us out.”
There was bee delay of 52 minutes on July 2, 2009, against the Houston Astros at the downtown ballpark, which opened in 2004.
“It was good to get on the board early,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Jorge gets us on the board then we just kind of kept tacking on all day. It was just one of those days everything kind of clicked the way we like it.”
Mattingly said he was “just hoping it’s not too long. It’s like a little rain delay. You just don’t want Trevor sitting there too long. That was the main thing you’re worried about, is your pitcher right there.”
Harold Ramirez had three hits and two RBIs, and Brian Anderson had three hits and scored twice.
Alfaro hit a two-run homer with two outs in the second, his ninth, off left-hander Matt Strahm (2-5). He added a two-run double in the fourth.
Garrett Cooper hit a solo homer with two outs in the third, his fourth.
Strahm hit Garrett Cooper with a pitch and allowed Brian Anderson’s single before being pulled. Matt Wisler came on and allowed Starlin Castro’s sacrifice fly and Harold Ramirez’s RBI single.
The Marlins added on in the seventh on Castro’s RBI double and Ramirez’s run-scoring single.
Strahm allowed seven runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked none.
Renfroe homered off Wei-Yin Chen with one out in the seventh and added a two-run shot in the ninth off Jeff Brigham. Renfroe has 17.
France, who played at San Diego State, said manager Andy Green told him he would pitch the ninth if the score remained 9-1.
“He just told me I was going in,” France said. “I was excited. It was definitely a fun moment. It (stinks) having a position player go in there, but I definitely had a lot of fun with it.”
France made two appearances in Double-A in 2017, going 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA, and three appearances the season before in single-A, throwing three scoreless innings.
Padres: Green said rookie SS Fernando Tatis Jr. will start a rehab assignment Monday at Double-A Amarillo. He’s been out since straining his left hamstring on April 28.
Marlins: RHP Pablo Lopez (3-5, 4.99) is scheduled to start Tuesday night in the opener of a series at Milwaukee, which is due to counter with Chase Anderson (3-0, 3.31).
Padres: LHP Eric Lauer (4-4, 4.45) is scheduled to start the opener of a three-game home series against the Philadelphia Phillies, who are expected to counter with RHP Aaron Nola (6-0, 4.18).
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