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Girardi ejected for disputing called third strike

NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi was ejected for the second time this season on Tuesday, and unlike some of his previous heated run-ins with umpiring crews, this one left the Yankees' manager mystified.

Girardi was tossed by home-plate umpire Jerry Layne after the fifth inning of Tuesday's 12-7 loss to the Mets for arguing balls and strikes; specifically, a called third strike on the Yanks' Kelly Johnson that stranded two men aboard.

"You saw the pitches that inning; runners in scoring position, still a lot of at-bats left," Girardi said. "All I said was, 'Come on, Jerry, those pitches were on the white line,' and he tossed me.

"Now, I'll tell you, there are days I deserve to get tossed. I will not lie to you. There are days I deserve to get fined. I will not lie to you on that. You've seen I get pretty animated and angry. I didn't say nothing."

The Yankees were trailing, 11-5, at the time. Girardi, who tossed a white towel from the bench as he prepared to depart down the clubhouse tunnel, said that he had not complained about Layne's strike zone at any other point in the game.

"Jerry's usually mild mannered," Girardi said. "I'm shocked. I'm still shocked. He just said, 'Come on Joe. You know me.' And I do, that's why I'm still shocked. He saw a lot of pitches. And it's not his fault. I'm not blaming him that we lost.

"It has nothing to do with him, but I thought that was a big point in the game when we had a chance to get back into it. We had two guys who are able to hit the ball out of the ballpark [in Yangervis Solarte and Johnson], and it's frustrating to me. And I'm going to protect our guys."

Bench coach Tony Pena assumed the duties of acting manager for the rest of the game.

Girardi, who was also thumbed by Laz Diaz on May 5 in Anaheim, has been ejected 25 times in his career and 22 times as a manager, including 20 times as the Yankees' manager.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
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