TAMPA, Fla. — The biggest buzz didn’t come from a third straight positive outing by Michael Pineda in the New York Yankees’ 8-1 victory Tuesday over the Boston Red Sox.
That honor went to a swarm of bees that took over left field and delayed the game for seven minutes before the bottom of the third.
“Just a strange little delay of game,” said Boston left fielder Mike Carp, who walked toward the infield to get away from the bees. “They kept coming towards me and I wanted no part of that. I didn’t want a couple thousand bees on me.”
Carp clearly could hear the bees buzzing.
“It was hard to see,” Carp said. “I guess they were honey bees, so it wasn’t anything that was too dangerous, but nevertheless, it’s still shocking to see a swarm of bees flying around you in the middle of a baseball game.”
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira went from the dugout to the clubhouse and returned with a couple jars of honey.
“What I thought is, if you just do a line of honey out to the parking lot, the bees would maybe follow it and then leave us alone,” Teixeira said with a smile.
Umpires called out the grounds crew, which received a loud cheer after chasing the bees away with bug spray.
“I’d never seen that before. I’d never had that,” longtime umpire Tom Hallion said. “I asked the grounds crew, âWhat do we do?” They told me that kind of honeybee wasn’t indigenous to the area. They didn’t know why they were there. They sprayed out there, and we were OK.”
The first batter after the stoppage, New York’s Francisco Cervelli, tripled to deep left.
“Right back into it,” Carp said.
Pineda, who missed the past two seasons while recovering from right shoulder surgery, gave up four hits and struck out five in 4 1-3 shutout innings.
Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury didn’t play against his former team, missing his third straight game due to right calf tightness. Ellsbury agreed in December to a $153 million, seven-year contract.
Ichiro Suzuki played center in Ellsbury’s absence and had an RBI single during a four-run second against Felix Doubront. Teixeira added a two-run single.
Alfonso Soriano hit a three-run homer for the Yankees.
Red Sox: Doubront gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 3 2-3 innings. The left-hander had not allowed a run over six innings in his previous two starts.
Yankees: Pineda has 14 strikeouts over nine scoreless innings overall.
Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka will make his next start Saturday against Minnesota in Fort Myers. Hiroki Kuroda will pitch Saturday in a minor league game.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, limited to 17 games last season after breaking his left ankle in the 2012 playoffs, had an RBI infield single in four at-bats, and is hitting .147 (5 for 34).
Ellsbury hit in an indoor batting cage but is expected to miss at least two more games.
CC Sabathia is not surprised that former Cleveland teammate Grady Sizemore is having some success in his comeback attempt.
“When you got talent like he has, anything is possible,” the New York ace said.
Sizemore had three hits and scored three runs for Boston on Monday. He missed the past two seasons following operations on his right knee and back.
Yankees: They reassigned right-handers Bruce Billings, Robert Coello, Brian Gordon, Mark Montgomery and Chase Whitley, catchers Francisco Arcia and Pete O’Brien, infielders Corban Joseph and Jose Pirela, and outfielders Tyler Austin and Mason Williams to their minor league camp. Outfielder Ramon Flores was optioned to to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.