Bees cir­cle, Sen­zel homers twice as Reds swarm Gi­ants

The Tribune (SLO) - - Sports - BY JOE KAY

CINCIN­NATI

Bees swarmed home plate. A rookie hit two homers. A third base­man wound up pitch­ing. Reds batters got plunked at a record rate in a lop­sided win.

Bruce Bochy sure has some mem­o­ries from his fi­nal game at Great Amer­i­can Ball Park.

Nick Sen­zel hit a lead­off homer af­ter a swarm of bees fi­nally left home plate, and the rookie con­nected again his next time up Mon­day, lead­ing Cincin­nati to a 12-4 vic­tory over the San Fran­cisco Gi­ants that was strewn with far more odd­i­ties than just an in­sect in­fes­ta­tion.

“Whew,” the Gi­ants man­ager said, rub­bing both eyes with his fists.

The wild game in­cluded a record-ty­ing four Reds get­ting plunked in one in­ning. Gi­ants third base­man Pablo San­doval pitched the eighth and also hit a bat­ter, match­ing an­other record.

By that time, Bochy wasn’t the only one with tired eyes.

The first pitch was de­layed 18 min­utes as bees swarmed above the back­stop screen, prompt­ing um­pires and play­ers to keep a safe dis­tance.

“I’ve never seen that,” Sen­zel said. “That was crazy. I didn’t know what was go­ing on at first. Then I saw the swarm.”

It was the Gi­ants’ sec­ond bee de­lay in Cincin­nati. Their game at River­front Sta­dium on April 17, 1976, was held up for 35 min­utes when bees in­vaded the vis­it­ing dugout. An­other game at River­front – this one against the Phillies – was de­layed for 17 min­utes in 1987, with Reds starter Ted Power get­ting stung on his hand.

Sen­zel was a fo­cus of a series be­tween the NL’s two least­pro­duc­tive of­fenses. The sec­ond over­all pick in the 2016 am­a­teur draft was called up to help spark an of­fense bat­ting .207, worst in the ma­jors.

He con­nected on the sec­ond pitch by Drew Pomer­anz (1-4) and home­red again in the sec­ond in­ning for a 6-0 lead. Sen­zel went 4 for 17 in the series with three solo homers. He is the first Reds rookie to hit three homers in his first four games.

“I hon­estly don’t feel like it’s go­ing well,” said Sen­zel, who also struck out three times and hit into a dou­ble play. “I’m still get­ting to where I want to be. There’s a lot of room for growth.”

Pomer­anz lasted only 1 2/3 in­nings and gave up seven runs for the first time since 2014. Jose Igle­sias had a sin­gle, dou­ble and triple and drove in four runs.

“Just one of those days,” Pomer­anz said. “A lot of runs scored this whole series, a lot of balls fly­ing out, a lot of balls drop­ping in.”

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