Editor's note: This story's headline at one point referenced the Reds defeating the New York Giants rather than the San Francisco Giants. This would be even more surprising than the bee delay, considering the NY Giants are a football team. The error has been corrected.
CINCINNATI — Between the bee delay, the ambidextrous pitcher and his lefty-righty hit batsmen and Nick Senzel's two leadoff homers, the Reds' 12-4 victory over the Giants Monday afternoon was right out of Ripley's Bee-lieve It Or Not.
The start of the game was delayed 18 minutes by a swarm of bees behind home plate, but that might not have been the strangest thing that happened.
Four Reds were hit by pitches during the sixth inning - two with the bases loaded - to tie the major league record for an inning set in 1893. Pat Venditte, the Giants' ambidexterous reliever, hit three of them, and Giants pitchers - including third baseman/mopup man Pablo Sandoval - hit five Reds hitters in all.
Senzel led off the first and second innings by hitting his second and third homers since being called up Thursday to help the Reds to a 7-1 lead.
After blowing 8-0 and 4-0 leads in losses on Friday and Sunday, the Reds watched Sandoval hit a three-run homer in the sixth off starter Anthony DeSclafani (2-1) to narrow the gap to 7-4.
But the Reds responded with five runs in the bottom of the sixth with the help of four hit batsmen in the inning.
Reds batters produced 15 homers in the four-game series to tie the franchise record for a single series (Sept. 3-5, 1999 at Philadelphia).
Eugenio Suarez also homered in the first as the Reds batted around and went ahead 5-0 against Giants starter Drew Pomeranz (1-4).
Senzel (2-for-6) tagged Pomeranz again leading off the second. Senzel went 4 for 17 in the series with three solo homers. He is the first Reds rookie to hit three homers in his first four games.
But Senzel wasn't satisfied. He also struck out three times, hit into a double play and left six runners on base. He is now hitting .235 with a 1.146 on-base plus slugging percentage.
"I honestly don't feel like it's going well," said Senzel. "I'm still getting to where I want to be. There's a lot of room for growth."
The Reds batted around again in the sixth thanks to Venditte and fellow reliever Sam Dyson.
Venditte, pitching left-handed, got Joey Votto to fly out. Then Venditte threw right-handed, hitting Suarez and walking Yasiel Puig before Kyle Farmer singled to load the bases.
Jose Iglesias hit a bases-loaded single to drive in two runs, and Curt Casali hit an RBI single.
Venditte, pitching left-handed again, hit Josh Van Meter and was pulled for Dyson. Dyson, who only pitches right-handed, struck out Senzel but hit Votto to plate the final run.
Iglesias had a single, double and triple and drove in four runs.
OUT IN LEFT FIELD
Reds manager David Bell decided to start middle infielder Jose Peraza in left field for the first time this season. Peraza had started in left field eight other times in his career.
Giants: Evan Longoria got another day to rest his sore shoulder. He has missed the last three games.
Reds: Scooter Gennett is not able to jog yet because of a groin injury suffered during spring training. Gennett is on the 60-day disabled list. There is no timetable for his return.
Giants: San Francisco opens a series in Colorado with left-hander Madison Bumgarner (1-4) facing the only team he has beaten this season. He gave up two runs in seven innings of a 5-2 win over the Rockies on April 13 in San Francisco.
Reds: Tyler Mahle (0-4) makes his first career start in Oakland. The Athletics are 11-8 against the Reds in the regular season.