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Bautista tossed after arguing called strike three

Ejection in sixth inning comes in midst of Blue Jays slugger's 0-for-11 slump

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TORONTO -- Jose Bautista was ejected from Sunday's series finale against the Rays for arguing balls and strikes after he struck out in the sixth inning with no runners on and one out.

A frustrated Bautista took issue with a called third strike by home-plate umpire Bill Welke on a full-count slider from Rays starter Chris Archer, which Welke said caught the outside corner of the plate.

Bautista had words for Welke, prompting manager John Gibbons to leave the dugout to retrieve his star player. But Bautista was tossed before Gibbons could intervene.

The power-hitting right fielder wouldn't disclose what he said to Welke that led to the ejection, but he was adamant that he'd done nothing wrong. A defiant Bautista reluctantly admitted that he might've been at fault for getting tossed.

"If you want to stick to facts, the facts are because I did say something, anything at all, to get tossed, I guess you would say yes," Bautista said. "But again, I feel like what I know I said was nowhere near warranting of getting an ejection."

He's the first Blue Jays player to be tossed from a game this season. Nolan Reimold replaced Bautista, who's in an 0-for-11 slump, in right field.

Bautista's ejection marks the first time since April 9-11, 2012, that he has been unable to reach base safely in three straight contests.

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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