Maxwell wasn't happy with Deduno after being plunked, as catcher Ryan Doumit had to get between them as Maxwell went to first base. It marked the second straight plate appearance Maxwell was hit, as he was also struck by reliever Anthony Swarzak in the ninth inning of the Royals' 8-1 win on Wednesday.
"I think there's a rule you can't argue that, so as soon as Gardy went out there he was ejected," said bench coach Terry Steinbach, who took over as manager in Gardenhire's absence. "Sammy didn't have his 'A' control today. So when a ball takes off like that and they warn you, it's frustrating."
Deduno also maintained that he didn't mean to hit Maxwell with the pitch, as he struggled with his control all afternoon. He's also hit nine batters in 18 starts this year.
"I don't want to hit somebody with two strikes," Deduno said. "I went inside to him. I made a pretty good pitch and it hit him. So I was surprised a little bit [by his reaction]."
It was the fourth time this season that Gardenhire has been ejected. He's also been ejected 66 times in his career, which puts him in a tie for ninth place all-time among managers with Joe Torre.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.