Mills ejected for first time on Sunday

Mills ejected for first time on Sunday

HOUSTON -- Astros manager Brad Mills was ejected from a game for the first time in his Major League managerial career for arguing balls and strikes in the fifth inning of Sunday's game against the Padres at Minute Maid Park.

Mills was ejected by home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez, who had thrown out Michael Bourn a night earlier for arguing a call at first base. Mills argued with Marquez in the top of the fifth inning Sunday, when a pitch thrown by Roy Oswalt to Padres pitcher Tim Stauffer was called a ball. Stauffer wound up hitting a two-run double on a 2-2 count.

In the bottom of the inning, Stauffer threw a similar pitch down in the zone that was called a strike, prompting Mills to yell from the dugout at Marquez, who threw him out. Mills came onto the field and argued with Marquez for a few minutes before walking off the field to a standing ovation.

Coincidentally, Mills spoke at length before Sunday's game with reporters and said the idea of managers getting thrown out on purpose to pump up a team is overrated, though it does have its place.

"If you've got a legitimate argument, then you can pile on," he said.