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Girardi, Kelley tossed for arguing balls and strikes

Girardi, Kelley tossed for arguing balls and strikes

ANAHEIM -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected by home-plate umpire Laz Diaz in the top of the eighth inning of Monday's game against the Angels for arguing balls and strikes.

The Yankees appeared to have issues with Diaz's strike zone all night, and that frustration boiled over after Jered Weaver was granted a called strike on Brett Gardner with the bases loaded and none out.

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Diaz quickly tossed Girardi, who furiously argued with Diaz on the field, throwing his cap to the grass during the verbal spat.

"There were some balls that I thought that were up that were called on us," Girardi said. "I had a problem with a number, but I didn't say much. I just didn't. When a game's on the line, it becomes a little bit different. You're asking your hitters to be patient and disciplined. It makes it much more difficult."

Reliever Shawn Kelley also was ejected by Diaz after Kelley's bases-loaded walk -- one of three the Yankees issued in the bottom of the eighth -- allowed the Angels to break the 1-1 tie. It was Kelley's first career ejection.

"I'm not going to say anything about the strike zone," Kelley said. "I made a lot of bad pitches. It's on me."

Girardi revealed that there had been an incident during Kelly Johnson's second-inning strikeout in which Diaz waggled his finger at Girardi, as if to say no more, a gesture that Girardi called "the Mutumbo," in reference to former NBA star Dikembe Mutumbo's dismissive wave.

"I don't appreciate that. I'm not a little kid," Girardi said. "I don't need to be scolded. Obviously we're trying to work together and I just thought there were a lot of inconsistencies tonight.

"No one is coming [to the game] to see Laz, I can tell you that."

Following Girardi's ejection Monday, Gardner struck out and Derek Jeter grounded into a double play as Weaver worked out of trouble and turned New York aside, preserving the tie at the time.

The ejection was Girardi's first of the season and his first since Aug. 18, 2013, at Boston's Fenway Park, when he was tossed from the game by home-plate umpire Brian O'Nora after Alex Rodriguez was hit by Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster.

"I've seen him get fired up before," Gardner said. "Usually he comes out there and usually gets his money's worth."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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