It was a pitch to Castro, Ausmus said, that left him heated. It was a ball that, to him, looked similar to a CC Sabathia pitch that was called strike three on J.D. Martinez with the bases loaded in the previous inning.
"I thought it was a ball," Ausmus said, "and that kind of changed the inning despite the fact we scored a couple of runs. I thought that was ball four and I was a little irritated. Paul is doing his best. He's not trying to miss any calls. And quite honestly, I couldn't tell if he did miss the call that I am upset about."
Ausmus said he had not looked at the video on the pitch after the game.
"You tack on an out instead of having a run in and the bases still loaded," he said. "But again, I haven't gone to the video. In my mind, it was a little bit in."
Ausmus, who had been yelling from the dugout, went down the dugout steps. Bench coach Gene Lamont got up from the bench and walked to the railing to take over as manager.
Ausmus' ejection came after starter Mike Pelfrey battled command all afternoon in his Detroit debut. The former Mets and Twins right-hander, who tossed three perfect innings against the Yankees in his first Spring Training start, gave up six runs on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings Saturday. He threw 40 of his 74 pitches for strikes.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.