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Tigers Vs. Mariners: Jim Leyland Ejected In Third Inning; Justin Verlander Mixing It Up With Home Plate Umpire

When the Tigers put up five runs in the first two innings off Kevin Millwood with Justin Verlander on the rubber, some early rising Tigers fans felt like they could confidently hit the sack.

But in the bottom of the third, Verlander's early control problems caught up to him and the Mariners plated three runs to cut the score to 5-3.

Making things harder on Verlander, though, is home plate umpire Brian Knight's strike zone getting inexplicably tighter and the Tigers not getting a couple check swing calls they felt they should have.

After one particular check swing was ruled a ball, Jim Leyland started chirping while seated in the dugout and Knight's rabbit ears allowed it to get to him -- Leyland was promptly tossed.

Following the very next pitch, a four-seamer that was probably a strike, Verlander reacted negatively, ever-so-slightly. The vigilant Knight caught it, jumped up from behind Laird and started yelling while walking toward Verlander. This resulted in Gerald Laird holding Knight back and Prince Fielder sprinting over to hold Verlander back while Jeff Jones jumped out of the dugout, too.

After a scoreless fourth inning, Verlander appeared to have some words for Knight, but Knight's back was turned.

This probably won't get any better...

For more on the Tigers, head over to Bless You Boys. For more MLB news and expert analysis, be sure to check out Baseball Nation.