You had to see it to bee-lieve it.
The Houston Astros _ who once had the "Killer Bs" _ had to wait out a 52-minute bee delay before finishing their 7-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Thursday.
The delay, which came with two outs in the top of the ninth, certainly gave a new meaning to getaway day.
"It's how this year's going. Bizarre things. You think you've seen it all in baseball and you're going to see something new," said Houston's Geoff Blum, who hit a three-run homer and finished with four RBIs.
The drama began with Houston leading 6-1 with two outs in the top of the ninth. San Diego's Kyle Blanks started walking in from left field, trying to get shortstop Everth Cabrera to call time. It ended when a beekeeper obliterated a ball of bees that followed a queen bee under a ballgirl's jacket that was slung over the back of a chair down the left-field line.
"I kind of saw one or two floating around my head," Blanks said. "Then I turned around and there was a wall. I started to walk in and tried to get Everth to call time."
Blanks said he's allergic to bees. "It's not something I want to tempt," he said.
He wondered what would happen if Miguel Tejada pulled a ball down the line.
"It was a pretty thick wall of bees and I really didn't want a piece of it," he said.
"The umpires made the right call to stop the game," Padres president Tom Garfinkel said. "There's a couple thousand bees there. If they decide to swarm on a person, whether that's a player, an employee or obviously a fan, we could have a real situation."
The game was halted at 3:09 p.m. Five minutes later, both teams were cleared from the field.
The beekeeper arrived at 3:56 p.m., quickly did his job to applause from the fans that remained, and the game resumed 5 minutes later.
The swarm first appeared along the warning track. Later, fans were cleared out of several sections down the left-field line as the bees swarmed around the chair.
Head groundskeeper Luke Yoder thinks they were regular honey bees. Groundskeepers thought about putting a trash can over the chair, but didn't want to take the chance in case they were Africanized honey bees.
"It looked harmless, but let me tell you there was a big ball of bees under that jacket," Yoder said. "Every one of those bees you saw in the outfield, every single one of them went underneath that jacket."
Yoder said he's seen similar swarms at the downtown ballpark, some the size of a soccer ball, but just not during games.
Cubs 9, Brewers 5
At Chicago, Derrek Lee hit a grand slam and a three-run homer for a career-high seven RBIs.
Lee drove his 10th career grand slam off reliever Chris Smith in the fourth after connecting for a three-run shot off starter Seth McClung in the first. Jake Fox and Geovany Soto also had solo shots off McClung (3-2), who was making his second start of the season.
Ryan Dempster (5-5) got his first win since May 30.
Braves 5, Phillies 2
At Atlanta, Matt Diaz drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning double and Atlanta completed its first home sweep of Philadelphia in four years.
Diaz had his second straight three-hit game to lift the Braves to their fourth consecutive win.
Garret Anderson added his first career pinch-hit homer, a two-run shot off Ryan Madson (2-4).
Cardinals 5, Giants 2
At St. Louis, Todd Wellemeyer rebounded from his shortest start of the season with 7 1-3 solid innings for St. Louis.
Wellemeyer (7-7) allowed two runs and seven hits in his longest outing of the season.
Ryan Ludwick had two hits and two RBIs for the Cardinals, who won for the third time in nine games.
Barry Zito (4-8), who threw 26 pitches before recording an out, went 4 1-3 innings, allowing five earned runs and five hits.
Mets 9, Pirates 8, 10 innings
At Pittsburgh, Ryan Church singled in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning for New York, which overcame a five-run deficit and then wasted a ninth-inning lead.
Adam LaRoche hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez (2-2) before the Mets rebounded to win the makeup of a June 3 rainout.
Pirates closer Matt Capps (1-4) had converted 12 consecutive save opportunities since May 15.
Reds 3, Diamondbacks 2, 10 innings
At Cincinnati, Joey Votto singled with the bases loaded and two outs in the 10th inning for Cincinnati.
The Reds loaded the bases with no outs against Clay Zavada (1-2), stringing together a walk and two singles. After two outs, Votto singled past shortstop for his fourth hit of the game.
Francisco Cordero (1-2) escaped a bases-loaded threat in the top of the 10th with the help of a double play.
Arizona (31-48) lost for the 10th time in 12 games.