ALAN ESKEW, Associated Press
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — In what truly became a “B” game at spring training, a swarm of bees briefly delayed the Kansas City Royals’ 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday.
Edinson Volquez threw three hitless innings for the Royals, but the insects caused the biggest buzz. They sent Kansas City manager Ned Yost, members of his coaching staff and fans scurrying early in the exhibition matchup at Surprise Stadium. Yost and his coaches like to sit on folding chairs outside the dugout, and the bees caused them to duck for cover.
Yost said nobody got stung.
“They’re not going to mess with you, just don’t mess with them,” Yost said. “Kind of like the Royals, don’t mess with us and we won’t mess with you.”
The bees were removed in a plastic trash bag after the top of the third inning. Lowell Hutchinson, a retired beekeeper from St. Joseph, Missouri, came out of the stands to assist with gathering them. With the scarcity of honey bees, Yost implored the bees be saved, not exterminated.
“I said, ‘We ain’t killing those bees. We better figure something out,'” Yost said. “Luckily we had a beekeeper from St. Joe here. They had already devised that plan, just put them in a plastic bag, take them out and let them go. We ain’t killing them. There aren’t enough bees in the world, boys. We can’t be exterminating them.”
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“They’re so important to our environment. They pollenate everything. It doesn’t make any sense to panic and kill bees when you don’t have to. I am proud the way we handled it,” he said.
Volquez saw Yost rush for the dugout while he was on the mound.
“I’m just glad to be alive,” Volquez said and laughed.
Bubba Starling hit a two-run, inside-the-park homer in the Royals sixth off Jason Motte. Paulo Orlando also homered for Kansas City.
“The bees were crazy,” Starling said. “They were all over the place. All the coaches came in until they got that taken care of. There was some actually down in the dugout. The majority of them were out in the on-deck circle.”
Rockies starter Jordan Lyles delayed warming up in the third inning when the bees were removed to a loud applause.
“That third inning the umpires told me to hold off, that they were going to take the bees out,” Lyles said. “It didn’t affect us on the field, but I’m sure the fans weren’t too happy.”
Cristhian Adames homered for Colorado.
Royals: Volquez threw another dozen pitches in the bullpen after 37 pitches in the game. “My first game I was kind of late with my arm but I worked on that in the bullpen,” he said. “I think I was better today and I want to keep doing what I did today.”
Rockies: Lyles gave up a homer on a 2-2 offering to Orlando. “I threw it right down the middle where I’m sure he loved it,” Lyles said. “He put a really good swing on the ball and hit it really hard.” Lyles was pleased with his breaking ball. “My curveball was better today than I’ve seen it in a long time,” he said.
Rockies: LHP Chris Rusin, who had left middle finger inflammation Thursday, is scheduled to pitch Friday against the Indians.
Royals: 2B Omar Infante, who had offseason elbow surgery, is scheduled to DH in a split-squad game Wednesday and could play the field for the first time Thursday. . 3B Cheslor Cuthbert has sat out the past two days with back tightness. . OF Terrance Gore was sick and did not play.
LHP Jake McGee and RHP Chad Qualls, two offseason acquisitions to bolster the Rockies bullpen, will make their debuts Wednesday.
Rockies: RHP Eddie Butler, who went 3-10 with a 5.90 ERA as a rookie, will start against the Giants.
Royals: RHP Wade Davis, who did not allow a run over 10 2-3 innings in eight postseason appearances, will debut against the Brewers. LHP Matt Strahm, who has not pitched above A ball, will start at the Mariners in a split-squad.
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