TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) A swarm of bees chased players from the field and fans from their seats before the Angels’ Mike Trout hit his first spring homer and the Royals’ Eric Hosmer connected for his second, and Kansas City beat Los Angeles 6-4 Sunday.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP, hit a towering shot in the fifth inning off Miguel Almonte that nearly cleared the berm beyond the wall in left-center field 410 feet from home plate. Trout had career highs of 36 homers and 111 RBIs in 2014.
Hosmer had a two-run shot off Matt Shoemaker in the first, a drive to right-center.
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”It was just an off-speed pitch,” Shoemaker said. ”Just up in the zone. Not a well-located pitch.”
Shoemaker, a surprise 16-game winner in 2014, made his first Cactus League appearance this year – after a swarm of bees delayed the start of the game for 10 minutes.
The bees flew in from left field and gathered on a microphone attached to the netting behind home plate, toward the to the Angels dugout on the first base side. Fans behind home moved back to the concourse behind the field section of seats.
Shoemaker said he was warned about the swarm by Angels shortstop Erick Aybar as the bees buzzed overhead while throwing his pregame warmup pitches. Shoemaker said left fielder Collin Cowgill told everyone on the field about the bees. The umpires waved all players off the field and about five rows of fans were asked to move until the exterminators arrived.
A person in full protective gear shook the netting and sprayed the bees in the fourth inning during another delay of about 10 minutes.
Shoemaker allowed four hits and two runs and struck out one. He allowed all four hits in the first but settled down over the final two innings, allowing only a hit batsman.
Edinson Volqeuz made his Royals debut and allowed three hits, three runs – one earned – in two innings. He signed a three-year deal with the Royals after going 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA with Pittsburgh in 2014.
Trout, Albert Pujols and David Freese singled consecutively off Volquez in a three-run first. C.J. Cron added a sacrifice fly.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he’d seen bees at ballparks before but nothing quite like the gathering Sunday.
”We never had them migrating,” Scioscia said. ”Fortunately they stayed up there until we could get rid of them. If those bees would have stayed on the field, it would have been impossible to play.”
Royals: Volquez was happy with his first appearance. ”There was a lot of confidence in my pitches,” he said. ”I was a little up in the strike zone.”
Angels: Shoemaker has a secured spot in the rotation after a stellar rookie year. He told reporters that nothing has changed for him this spring. ”My whole goal in spring training is just to get ready for the season and at the same time compete for a job no matter who you are or where you’re at,” Shoemaker said.
He said he was not bothered by the bees at the start.
”(You just) roll with it,” Shoemaker said. ”Get your warm-up’s in. Wait and go warm up again.”
Royals: Left-handed reliever Tim Collins underwent an MRI on his throwing elbow on Thursday and the diagnosis came back with damage to the ligament. He will have a second opinion on the injury over the next seven to 10 days. … Second baseman Omar Infante is currently getting treatment on a bone spur in his right elbow.
Angels: Highly-touted left-hander Andrew Heaney, named the team’s top prospect by Baseball America, will make his debut as an Angel vs. Cincinnati at Goodyear. The Angels acquired Heaney from the Dodgers for Howie Kendrick a few hours after the Dodgers acquired Heaney from Miami He’s expected to compete for the final starting rotation spot with Hector Santiago and Nick Tropeano .
Royals: Jason Vargas will make his first spring start vs. Milwaukee in Maryvale. Vargas went 11-0 with a 3.71 ERA in his first season with the Royals in 2014.