HOUSTON -- Brewers starter Zack Greinke was hoping to win his fifth straight decision on Saturday and stay unbeaten against Houston. Greinke entered the game 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA in four starts versus the Astros and looked forward to improving on his 3-0 ledger with a 1.71 ERA at Minute Maid Park.
But the righty lasted just two batters before being ejected by first-base umpire Sam Holbrook. Moments later, an enraged Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was also shown the door by Holbrook.
The incident began when Greinke raced to cover first base on an infield ground ball off the bat of Astros second baseman Jose Altuve. The two reached the bag at exactly the same time. Holbrook gave the safe sign and Greinke slammed the ball into the ground in disgust.
Holbrook almost immediately gave Greinke the hook. The two exchanged words before Roenicke raced from the dugout to voice his displeasure. Holbrook didn't take long to toss the Brewers' manager.
Greinke said the ejection was somewhat confusing to him.
"The first thing I said to [Holbrook] was, 'Is it an automatic ejection if I throw the ball?' I knew in my mind I had no intention of being mad at the umpire. And then he said something about it being a close play and it looked bad. I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was something along those lines," Greinke said.
It is the fourth time in his career that Greinke has been ejected from a game, twice for throwing at batters and once for yelling at the umpire from the dugout.
"But today will probably be the only one I'll look back and regret what I did," said Greinke, who added that the severity of the ordeal began to set in quickly.
"Then I kind of realized what happened and felt bad about it," Greinke said. "It really hurt our team today. It was a mental mistake not getting [to the bag] on time and a mental mistake throwing the ball.
"I'm pretty much embarrassed by what happened and it really put us in a tough situation."
It was certainly a bizarre way to lose a game after just four pitches.
"I deserved it," said Greinke, who slipped to 9-3 for the season. "I threw four pitches, [they had] two hits, and I didn't cover first. And then threw a tantrum on the field. All in four pitches, I did all those things wrong."
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.