TORONTO -- Jose Bautista was ejected from the Blue Jays' 2-1 victory over the Astros on Sunday for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Sam Holbrook.
In the seventh inning with men in scoring position, Bautista struck out swinging against Houston reliever Josh Fields. The Toronto slugger said something to Holbrook immediately afterwards and was promptly ejected from the game.
"It wasn't a conversation," said Bautista, who was tossed for the second time this season. "I said, 'I thought you had the biggest bleep strike zone I've seen all year.' And that was it. I was out of the game."
The Blue Jays right fielder was clearly upset with a previous pitch on the inside part of the plate. Fields threw a fastball down and in and Bautista immediately walked away from the batter's box after Holbrook called it a strike. He took his time returning to the plate struck out on the following pitch.
"What I need to do is stay in the games and realize that, unfortunately, even though I would love for right calls to be made consistently, that's just not going to happen, and I need to deal with it," Bautista said. "It's tough for me."
Just like his first ejection on June 9 against the Rangers, Bautista was ejected for arguing the strike zone.
It's become an issue for the slugger, and he is beginning to build a reputation for disputing umpires' strike zones.
Earlier in the season, Bautista remarked that "sometimes I have trouble more than other players dealing with my production being affected by somebody else's mediocrity."
Whether or not that's affected the calls he's getting, it's clear the he's still having trouble agreeing with what the home-plate umpire sees.
"I've been trying to control myself as much as I can," Bautista said. "But it is something that I'm not as good at as other players. I struggle with it. I play with a lot of heart and emotion and I always try to come through for us. When I don't, it upsets me. If I fail on my own, it upsets me. If I feel like some opportunities are being taken away from me, it upsets me even more.
With the ejection, Bautista left his club in a tie ballgame, leading manager John Gibbons to think that maybe the slugger needs to bite his tongue a little more.
"Yeah, stay in the game," Gibbons said. "I understand the frustration, that's the way it goes, but we need him on the field. He's a big part of our team and we need him on the field."