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Span, Gardenhire ejected in eventful third

Span, Gardenhire ejected in eventful third

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Span, Gardenhire ejected in eventful third
NEW YORK -- Twins center fielder Denard Span and manager Ron Gardenhire were both ejected by home-plate umpire Greg Gibson for arguing balls and strikes during the third inning of Tuesday's 8-3 loss to the Yankees.

Span took issue with a strike called by Gibson on the first pitch of his second at-bat against left-hander CC Sabathia. Span attempted to bunt on the pitch but pulled back in time, as he said that Gibson simply called the inside pitch a strike and that he disagreed with the call.

"He called the pitch a strike," Span said. "I was confused. But next time I need to choose my words a little wiser. I didn't cuss at him. Not one time. That's another thing. I didn't swear or yell at him. I didn't yell at him until he threw me out. So not one cuss word. But he had a quick trigger."

Span argued with Gibson after the call and was ejected in the middle of his at-bat. Gardenhire then came out to calm Span down, but the skipper was also thrown out of the game by Gibson.

Gardenhire didn't want to talk specifics about what happened when asked about the incident after the game.

"I can't tell you anything, because I'm not going to pay any more money," Gardenhire said. "He got ejected, and then I said my piece. I got dejected and then ejected."

Gibson also declined to elaborate on the decision to toss Span and Gardenhire from the game.

"That's between the [Commissioner's] Office and the umpires," Gibson told a pool reporter. "All that will go into a report that we send to the Commissioner's Office. And it's just something we don't get into. That's just the policy. We'll explain a rules interpretation, but as far as an incident on the field, that's for the Office."

It marked the third time Span was tossed in his career, while it was the 61st time Gardenhire was ejected.

Pinch-hitter Clete Thomas replaced Span and promptly hit an RBI double to score Alexi Casilla from second base after Casilla advanced on a balk from Sabathia. Thomas then scored on a single from Jamey Carroll to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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