Bees circle, Senzel homers twice as Reds swarm Giants
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.”