Bees, fan ejection highlight D-backs’ odd day
DENVER — Ho-hum. Just another bee-stinging, fan-ejecting, bat-flying day at the ballpark.
There was almost as much action outside the white lines as inside during the Diamondbacks’ 9-7 comeback victory over the Rockies on a balmy Thursday afternoon at Coors Field.
A swarm of bees delayed the game for about five minutes in the fifth inning.
A fan in a D-backs jersey was ejected for throwing a Rockies home run ball back on the field moments later, in the last of the fifth.
Justin Upton’s bat flew into the stands when he swung and missed a pitch in the eighth, landing 13 rows into the seats behind the D-backs dugout along the third-base line.
The 20-something woman who ended up with the bat held it above her head — stopping to make sure her tube top was positioned properly — as she was escorted from her seat. (She could have kept the bat, but not in the seats, for safety reasons; she eventually gave it back.)
The craziness, naturally, seeped into the game.
Colorado used a catcher at third base and a pitcher to pinch hit.
Lumbering Jason Giambi beat out an infield single.
And when Upton’s bat was returned, he used it to win the game on a two-out, two-run home run off Rafael Betancourt in the ninth inning.
It was an eventful day, even for wacky Coors Field.
The extracurriculars started in the fifth inning.
Diamondbacks fan Joshua Pickett, who said he flew in from Arizona for the game, was removed from the park when, after catching Jordan Pacheco’s home run ball in the left-field bleachers in the bottom of the fifth, he threw it back onto the left-field grass.
It is a common practice when the opposing team homers at Chase Field in Phoenix. It usually brings a rousing ovation.
This time, it brought security.
“The guy told me I had a prize, then he told me I’m getting thrown out,” Pickett told FOX Sports Arizona, describing his security escort.
“I didn’t think I did anything wrong. I’ve seen it all the time. Flew in for one day, fly back out tomorrow. It’s all good.”
Pickett’s female companion left with him, and the Diamondbacks’ TV broadcasting crew of Greg Schulte and Mark Grace promised Pickett a pair of tickets during the D-backs’ next homestand, which begins Monday.
Pickett’s exit came just a half-inning after bees buzzed the Rockies’ first-base dugout before the top of the fifth inning.
Arizona first-base coach Eric Young, Colorado first baseman Todd Helton and first-base umpire Mike Estabrook moved over to stand alongside second baseman Marco Scutaro to get out of harm’s way, and several spectators down the first-base line were forced out of their seats.
Play resumed when the bees settled in a cluster on a railing in front of a camera well just beyond the dugout. Beekeeper David Bowers removed the bees by sucking them up with a “bee vac” two innings later.
The D-backs also had a bee game in spring training on March 4, when a similar swarm gathered near the San Francisco Giants’ dugout along the first-base line at Salt River Fields and caused a 41-minute delay. The grounds crew used cotton candy, sugar and lemonade to draw the bees into the bag of a cart, and play resumed.
As Colorado changed pitchers with two outs in the fifth inning Thursday, the sound system played “Let It Be.”