CC Sabathia got the exact result he was looking for, but he still saw red as he left the field.
Irritated about the pitch that preceded an inning-ending double play in the top of the sixth, Sabathia yelled at plate umpire Dan Bellino as he walked toward the Yankees' dugout.
Bellino barked back at Sabathia and, as the lefthander crossed the first-base line, ejected him. That set off even more fireworks in what wound up as a 6-2 victory over the Angels Sunday at the Stadium, the Yankees' season-best sixth straight win.
"All I was trying to figure out was where he was calling the pitch, whether it was down or not, and he'd been calling it all day," Sabathia said of the 1-and-1 pitch to Kole Calhoun that Bellino called a ball before the 2-and-1 delivery that induced the double play. "I guess he didn't want me to ask him."
Crew chief Tom Hallion told a pool reporter: "We don't comment on what was said. The whole thing started with arguing balls and strikes."
After the ejection, Joe Girardi hurdled the dugout railing and charged at Bellino, kicked dirt and quickly was ejected for the first time this season.
"To throw my pitcher out for asking where a pitch is . . . I have a problem with that," Girardi said.
Sabathia already had begun his charge toward Bellino, getting in the umpire's face after blowing past Chase Headley's initial attempt to restrain him. Sabathia eventually was held back and led off the field by, among others, bench coach Rob Thomson.
"It helps that I got the double play but still, when you're out there, you want consistency and for it to be called right," said Sabathia, whose most recent ejection had occurred on July 21, 2006, when he pitched for Cleveland. "He had been calling it [the low strike] all day. I just asked him where the pitch was. He said it was down. I said, 'It was not down; you just called it on Headley [in the fifth],' and that's when he threw me out. After I got tossed, I just wanted to get my money's worth, I guess."
Asked what set him off, Sabathia said: "The fact it had been going on all day. It was a big pitch. Luckily, we got the double play after that, but it could have changed the game. It's just frustrating when those guys don't have anybody to answer to."
When a pool reporter asked if he could speak to Bellino, Hallion said, "I'm speaking for him."
The theater highlighted, but didn't obscure, another positive day on the field for the AL East-leading, Jekyll-and-Hyde Yankees (32-25), who completed a three-game sweep of the Angels (28-29). After losing 10 of 11, the Yankees have won 10 of 13.
"We've just been swinging the bats, coming through with men on base and pitching pretty well," said Brett Gardner, whose three-run homer in the fifth off lefty C.J. Wilson (3-5, 3.92) snapped a 2-2 tie. "It's early June, but I feel good about the way we've been playing the last week or two. It's a game of ups and downs. You want to be as consistent as possible, but it's easier said than done."
Sabathia (3-7, 5.25), backed by home runs by Chris Young, Gardner and Jose Pirela, finished with five scoreless innings after a five-pitch span in the first inning in which he allowed back-to-back homers by Mike Trout and Albert Pujols and a double by David Freese. Sabathia, who came in 0-6 with a 9.42 ERA in his previous six starts at the Stadium, struck out seven and walked one.
"It's good to be at home and playing well," he said. "It's good to get these three, get a day off [Monday], then come back strong on Tuesday."