Derek Jeter, in the on-deck circle during the dispute, measured his words.
Gardner was ejected for the first time in his major league career - the first time in his baseball career, he said - in the seventh inning Wednesday. With two on, Gardner came up and fell in an 0-and-2 hole. He turned and questioned plate umpire Paul Emmel, who threw out Joe Girardi Tuesday night, and Emmel ejected Gardner. Girardi implied Tuesday that Emmel had a quick trigger finger and posited the incident might have been a carryover from his previous ejection, which came June 6 in Toronto from this same crew.
"I don't know if I did [deserve it] or not," Gardner said. "Obviously I guess so but it's not for me to figure out. That was for the home plate umpire to figure out, and I guess he thought I deserved it."
Though it's impossible to determine what Gardner would have done had he not been thrown out, his ejection benefited the Yankees as Colin Curtis, inheriting the 0-and-2 count, hit a three-run homer.
"It worked out perfectly," Gardner said.
If the Yankees were losing, Curtis Granderson's struggles certainly would be discussed more than they have been. Granderson, who went 9-for-26 in the Yankees' seven-game trip before the break but had a 2-for-15 start to the second half, had two hits Wednesday to raise his average to .238.
With the Yankees in the early part of a 16-day stretch without a day off, Girardi said he's leaning toward giving Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter a day at designated hitter this weekend . . . Mark Teixeira, who went 3-for-5, reached base safely for a career-high 37th straight game.